Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick and Treat

So I procrastinated just a tad this year with a Halloween costume for Charlie. We've been so busy, and quite frankly...I don't know what I was thinking. Apparently, I wasn't....

Yesterday afternoon, I dragged Madi around to six stores, and absolutely nothing struck us. Nothing. Everything was either the wrong size, looked cheap, too expensive, or just plain ugly.

In a desperate state, I called our friend Emily, and she bailed us out with a cute little construction worker vest and hard hat. It was perfect, though I knew he likely wouldn't wear the hat, and it saved the day for Charlie's Halloween party at Mommy & Me this morning.

My first school party

I think I like these things called cupcakes.

And I love my first Teacher, Miss Lora

Then Mommy got the ultimate "trick" for Halloween.  I returned from working with my editor this afternoon to hear from Diane (our friend, neighbor, and sitter) that Charlie was stirring. He was "stirring" alright. Those of you with weak stomachs might want to sign off here...

When I walked into his room, shortly before it was time to pick up Madi from school, I was blown over. Little Stinker (literally) had gone number two, and it was everywhere. And I mean everywhere. On every blanket (five of 'em), both of his musical toys, his bedding, his clothes, his feet, and it didn't stop there. He had finger-painted all over the crib rails.

Sorry for being so graphic, but if I gotta live it, you gotta read about it. That's part of the deal here. And why would I share such disgusting information? Because someday I want Charlie to read about all the crap (pun intended) he put me through;)

Realizing that there was no quick fix to the situation, I immediately speed-dialed Emily to pick up Madi from school.

Seriously folks--I was paralyzed. This has never happened with Madi or Daniel, at least like this. I tore his clothes off, scooped him up from underneath his armpits (holding him out at a safe distance) and ran him into the bath to get cleaned up.  It took me a good half-hour to get him and his crib squeaky clean, and I didn't even gag once. Now that's true love. Oh--and I should credit Charlie with this: Not once did he cry or show any sign of trauma. That was all me...

The "treat" of my day was that on my way home from meeting with Marilyn, I made a quick pit-stop at Toys R Us as a last resort and lucked out totally. I found the cutest, softest Tigger costume HALF PRICE! Best $8.00 I've ever spent. And Charlie absolutely LOVES wearing it!

Good thing he's so darn cute...


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our Angel Madi

One of the challenges of Kindergarten (for me, anyway) is the abundance of projects. The kids had to come up with their own Halloween costume idea and make their costume for a grade. No store-bought costumes allowed.

Madi came up with the idea of an angel. The costume came out great after a few weeks of stressful planning. Actually, I stressed about it, and she really didn't.

Her project also required a written component, and when I asked her to write why she wanted to be an angel, she wrote, "Because my little brother Daniel is an angel." God love her.

We used a pillowcase for the dress, and Madi hand-painted hearts, peace signs and crosses on it.  We made wings out of foam board, which she also painted, we strung them together with elastic. We used pipe cleaners for her halo. We propped a little white peace dove on her shoulder and added some sparkles to her face. She looked beautiful.
Before we left for school, I remembered (thankfully) to snap a couple pictures. When I asked where we should take them, she replied with excitement, "Out in the backyard with Daniel and Schroeder!"

Jimmy and I had the honor of attending a fun little Halloween performance in her classroom Friday. The kids all looked great in their homemade costumes, and they were so excited about their big show. 

Madi loves her costume so much, that she decided to wear it for all of our Halloween events over the weekend, so the effort paid off on our wallets, too:)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thank you, Faith

Our first picture of Charlie. He looks good in pink.

This time last year, we had just received a call from our agency about Charlie's file. We were reeling.  It was so hard to process such a joyful beginning on top of such a difficult ending.

It still amazes me how we found Charlie--or how he found us--I should say, by the Grace of God. 

Let me put it to you this way...I was looking for Faith and Faith led us to Charlie.

A friend of mine (Carmen) had sent me a Facebook link to a wonderful well-known organization called Love Without Boundaries last Fall. I had been perusing their postings regularly and fell in love with countless faces on their website. I inquired about several children who I believed could be ours.

Then I saw Faith. I fell in love with her instantly. Faith was from the same province as Daniel. She was the same age. She even had the same heart condition.  Our agency felt it was "too close" for us. I didn't. I wanted to find that little girl, so I called our agency again and again hoping that they would locate her. But they couldn't.

On the morning of October 23rd, 2010, our Holt agent, Beth, signed on to her computer and began looking for Faith's file, once again. But then up popped a photo-listing she had not seen before. It was Charlie.

Beth said she knew instantly that he was "The Murphy's baby."  He seemed the perfect fit for our family, but where did his file come from?  He'd entered the Shanghai orphanage in December, 2009 and babies in China become adoptable after six months, which would have been June, 2010, just after Daniel had passed away. So why did his file just pop up in October?

Perhaps our guardian angels shuffled some papers around and kept his file--which must've been locked by another agency--under the radar until we were ready. 

Or perhaps there is another family out there--who we need to thank--for releasing Charlie's file after four months of contemplation about him.  

Either way, God found a way to get his file in our hands when He was ready, and when we were ready.

So, now we have Charlie. And we still have faith:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This post is for my dear ole friend, Renea. 

She loves to pester me for updated blog posts.

And insists upon updated photos, too.

Apparently, we are one of her favorite reads with her morning coffee.

So, how's this for a photo?

Do those kids look familiar?

The picture isn't exactly updated. It's more like...well...outdated.

Do you realize that picture was taken thirty-some years ago?

And we were sporting my mom's old sixties duds.

Cute, huh?

Love you for being a follower:)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Fever

We definitely have it here today!  The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and we're hoping this is a sign of what's in store for us this winter.

Last weekend, we took the kids to the Cason United Methodist pumpkin patch. It's a tradition of ours, and it was so cute to see Charlie traipse through the hay in the parking lot trying to pick up even the largest of pumpkins.

Madi had so much fun showing him around and putting him into the decked-out carriage. He seemed to like it; although, we detected that he was a bit unsure about the whole scenario, since we couldn't get him to smile much.

We took time to search for our perfect pumpkin, and while we were checking out, Charlie ran over and grabbed the white one shown in the last photo. Of course we couldn't say no...


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bubble Time

SO GLAD these Crayola colored bubbles are WASHABLE!  

Especially since our 6-month post-placement photos are due this weekend!! 

Friday, October 14, 2011



We finally found a toy that can occupy Charlie's attention for a reasonable amount of time...trains!

We made this discovery last week when we attended a school book fair/fundraiser at Barnes and Noble, where they have an elaborate train table set up with all of the possible bells and whistles.

Charlie was very comfortable in this new element. Let's just say he was, well--a little too comfortable...and...ahem...filled his pants.

As I made the startling realization that my son's dirty diaper was wafting through the play area, I was even more horrified when I realized that I didn't have a single supply in my possession.

No diapers. No wipes. Nuthin. Nada. Zilch.

In an attempt to remedy the situation with a "quick fix," I desperately panned the store for women with babies, but the only baby in the store was a newborn. I knew there was no way our little chunker monker was going to fit into a swaddler diaper. Not on a prayer.

My friend, Carmen, kindly reminded me that we were surrounded by stores in the area, so while she tended to the little stinker (literally), Madi and I sprinted out the door like we were on an episode of The Amazing Race and found the nearest Walgreen's. We gathered all of the necessary supplies, checked out, and made it back to the book store in five minutes flat.

Problem solved.

Please forgive my ramblings about my poor parental planning skills, but the up side was finding out how much Charlie seems to like trains!  So, we went over to Bubba and Grandpa's house and pulled out all of cousin Matthew's trains from years past and set them up here for Charlie. So far, so good.

As I sit here posting, I ask myself, "Have I learned anything here?"  Apparently not enough. My purse still lacks supplies, the diaper bag still sits in the garage, and I've neglected to stock the van "in case of emergency."

Guess I better sign off now and take care of things before Murphy's Law strikes again...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


On Saturday, we celebrated our nephew, Myles', rite of confirmation, which is about inviting and accepting the Holy Spirit into your lives.

I was honored to be chosen as Myles' sponsor for this beautiful and touching ceremony, especially since he chose "Daniel" for his saint name. I think I shed a tear every time I looked at his name tag!

I posted his dedication on the blog before, but wanted to post it again since Saturday was so meaningful for our family. This was written by Myles about choosing his saint name:

The name I have chosen for my confirmation is Daniel, in memory of my little cousin and God brother Daniel. In February, my aunt (who is my sponsor) and uncle adopted a two year old boy who they named Daniel. He had a heart condition and needed surgery to correct it. The surgery was a complete success but there were complications during his recovery. After being in the hospital for almost a month, he passed away. 

St. Daniel was known for his ability to interpret dreams. Daniel and his three friends were taken to Babylon. He was given the name Belteshazzar. Daniel was the first of the three presidents of the empire under the reign of Darius the Mede. His ministry began late in his life. His date and time of death were not recorded. His feast day is December 17th

I have chosen to take Daniel as my confirmation name, in memory of my cousin who I miss very much. This is one way I can think of to keep him in my heart.

After the ceremony, we celebrated over a delicious brunch at Mizner Park. In typical fashion, Charlie became a bit antsy after being restrained for a while. Murphy was kind enough to walk the kids outside to the fountain.

After about ten minutes, Madi came running in to say that Charlie fell in and got wet. Well, we never expected this!  He was drenched! He had lost his balance and fell in the fountain while reaching for a feather.

Thank God, Murphy was right on it, and plucked Charlie from the water. I was also thankful for having a spare diaper, though we did not have an extra set of clothes. We drove home with the heat on in the car!  And the kind restaurant staff gave Murphy a tee-shirt for being such a life-saver--literally!

No, Charlie. This was not your baptism. You already had that!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Field Trip!

Can you spot Madi?  She would be the cute little Chinese one in the top row:)

Often referred to as a "hover mother," you can imagine how thrilled I was to have the opportunity to help with her first class field trip.  It gave me a chance to be right there to watch Madi interact with her new little buddies and enjoy a very fun day with them.

We went to a place called Bedner's Farm, located in Boynton Beach. We took a hayride led by a John Deere tractor and spotted plenty of wildlife as we learned all about their farm. This place made me really want to buy local fruits and veggies!  Farmer David shaved fresh raw corn right off the cob (with his pocketknife) for us to taste. It was amazing!

The kids all got to choose their own little pumpkin from the patch to take with them. I loved watching Madi scurry around in search of the "perfect" one.

Of course, Mommy played second fiddle to the ever-popular Ms. Maldonado (or as Madi says, "Miss Mulldonado"). Many of the kids (Madi included) insisted on sitting on her lap during the hayride. She is so loving to all of them. We are still feeling very blessed to be in her classroom this year.