Wednesday, August 29, 2007


So, we had a parent/teacher conference for Keara this week. Technically she has only been in school for three weeks so there wasn't too much they could say but they confirmed she is off to a good start. Keara is one of five girls in her class. The rest are boys and Keara does not want anything to do with them (I'll be happy if that continues through college). I ask her if she talks or plays with any of the boys and she tells me, "Mom, they are boys." and by the look on her face I know that isn't even an option for her.

Keara is doing well at reading. It is quite a balancing act trying to instill a love of reading, while not drilling and killing them with it. Her school is very literacy focused and if I showed you her literacy binder your jaw would drop. First grade is not what it used to be. We read to her, she reads to us, we ask questions, she asks questions, we spell, we test on get the picture.

She has music, art and pe this year which I appreciate. They did not have that in kindergarten. Our biggest challenge at the moment is remembering to wear sneakers on gym day. My girlie girl does not wear them unless she has to. She is quite the fashion plate at the age of six. She is growing like a weed so I feel like I'm buying shoes or clothes every other month.

Each day I ask how school is going and each day she tells me it is "good". Guess we can't ask for more than that at this point. Life is good.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sydney turns two!

Well, we partied again today. Sydney's birthday is the day after Kailei's so we had yet another birthday party today. Sydney wasn't feeling tip top but we had the celebration anyway. She was very excited to have her cake as well. We hope she enjoyed her special day.

Kailei turns three!

So we finally celebrated Kailei's birthday this weekend. She has been singing happy birthday to herself for the last two months. I'm sure she thought the day would never arrive.

We started the day by getting our hair done. Naturally they both got "party hairdo's". I'm not really sure Kailei cares about her hair but Keara would never miss an opportunity to get a fancy hairdo. She actually gets one every time we go to the salon.

Later in the day the Archer's and Davison's joined us. We had pizza and cake. Hello Kitty was the theme this year. Kailei talked about her cake all day so she really enjoyed that portion of the party. Obviously by the picture she also enjoyed her ice cream as well.

She received lots of wonderful gifts. She really wasn't so much interested in what the presents were as much as she was interested in unwrapping them. "Open another one", she would say.

I think she enjoyed her day which obviously made us very happy. We count our blessing every day for this wonderful little girl. She is a pleasure and we are proud to be her mom and dad.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A new friend

Friday night we went to the airport to greet our new friend Lucy. Lucy was adopted from China by the Wyman family. She is just an adorable little girl who now has a wonderful big sister, mom and dad.

What memories it brought back as we waited in the airport for them to arrive. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday we were bringing Kailei home. Hard to believe it has been two years already.

We are so excited to have our friend home safe and sound and look forward to getting to know her.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Big sister

So were were driving home the other night and Keara and I stopped at Wendy's for a frosty (a tasty chocolate treat). I told her not to tell Kailei so we didn't hurt her feelings by not bringing her one. From the back seat of the car Keara proceeded to tell me, "Mom, I'm saving half of my frosty for Kailei." "Oh, that is so nice of you.", I said. Keara replied by letting me know, "Mom, that is what big sisters are for." Gotta love that big sister spirit.

I wonder if I ever saved part of my frosty for my sister? Somehow I doubt it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New and different ailments

So Kailei went to the doctor again and was diagnosed with geographic tongue. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Not me. The cause is unknown but it appears to coincide with children who have allergies (which we find Kailei has more of each day). Poor thing would not eat or drink so we knew something was going on. We never really saw any visible symptoms but she did complain about her tongue hurting a lot. Any attempt to eat or drink would make it hurt more. There isn't anything they can do for it but she is back eating after about a week. Never a dull moment with this child.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sick again!

Just call me Nurse Archer. Zeb was sick this past weekend and poor Kailei is sick again. Not long ago she had croup and then she wasn't getting better so we took her back to the doctor only to find out she had a sinus infection. She has been on antibiotics every since but that didn't stop her from getting another fever this weekend. The worst part was Saturday night she had horrible hallucinations and we could not calm her down. She kept seeing snakes and was wide awake and terrified. We tried telling her they weren't real, we tried telling her they were dreaming snakes, we tried catching them and getting rid of them but we couldn't keep up with all the snakes she was seeing. It is horrible to watch your child go through this and there is nothing that you can do. She was jumping out of her skin. Last night was calmer so I don't know if the hallucinations had anything to do with her temperature or not but Zeb is taking her back to the doctor this morning so we will see what the scoop is.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Picnics with the MWCC group

The weekend finally came and after non-stop working I finally felt normal again. Got up and fixed the girls french toast, ran a few errands, but the highlight was the annual MWCC picnic. Zeb wasn't feeling well so it was just me and girls. Now mind you the weather wasn't great, and we were missing some folks so it didn't feel complete without them but all in all we had a good time. We held out through the rain and clouds and it turned out just fine. We even managed to celebrate Lily's, and Kailei's birthday with some cupcakes and balloons. The girls had a good time and as usual I enjoyed everyone's company.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Work, work, work

The last few weeks have been tough. I've been putting in 70 hr work weeks which I know is crazy. It is so hard for me this time of year. I want everything in order prior to school starts and I honestly am trying to let things go as many are out of my control but it is and will continue to be difficult for me. Together with my wonderful staff, we did manage to get things done. Or at least to a place that I am comfortable. It took late nights, eating lots of salad and popcorn, lots of patience, lots of energy, getting stuck in an elevator (another story), and lots of laughs but it is done. I look forward to seeing my family again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A mushy moment for mom

Dear Teacher,

We give to you our daughter, one of the most precious people in our lives to nurture and teach for the next year. I wonder if you know how hard it is for us as parent to let go and trust you will get to know her and she will become as special to you as she is to us. We want you to teach her but also to nurture the genius that is hers alone. Do you know all the little things that make Keara special? Do you know?

Do you know that she is a night owl and will stay awake in her room later than she should despite our best efforts? Do you know that she is often quite shy? Do you know she will look to you to help her find some friends and that she will want you to protect her when her feelings get hurt from those very same friends? Do you know she will show up looking quite fashionable but will often have breakdowns in the morning about what to wear to school? Do you know she will work very hard to please you and will be very hurt should you scold her? Do you know that she has a kind heart but that very same heart gets broken by even the littlest things? Do you know that she is artistic but her spirit can be dampened when she feels she is unable to do what she expects herself to do? Do you know that she will be forgetful but that she will be hardest on herself? Do you know that she will remember you and all that you do to teach her and get to know her? Do you know that to us she is the most beautiful, smartest, kindest, most thoughtful, creative, and funniest little girl in the world?

Do you know?

We hope you will take the time to find out. It would mean the world to us.

(not anything I actually gave the teacher - just my thoughts that day)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Keara starts 1st grade!

The summer flew by and now we are back on our normal routine. I can hardly believe Keara is in first grade now. At first Keara thought she would be fine the first day of school without having me stay with her but she quickly changed her mind that morning. We went to her school a little early so I could take pictures and document the moment (yes, I'm a goober). We took her school supplies into her room and got them where they needed to be. We brought a plant for her new teacher and then we headed to before school care. There was hardly anyone there so I stayed with her. Generally she has breakfast in before care but she wasn't very hungry that morning. We quickly ran out of time and I took her to line up with here class. I was doing OK until that point and then got a little teary eyed as I was again seeing my big girl off to school. It is a scary thing for a parent. So many things are out of your control and you just want your to protect your child as best you can. Her teacher seems very nice. She is new to the profession so it will be a challenging year for her as well. The good news is that after Keara's first day I asked her if she had a good day. "No, I had a GREAT day.", she said. Let's hope it stays that way.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mother and Daughter go to the theatre

I'm hoping one of the girls develops a love for the theatre as much as I have. I keep taking Keara and she does enjoy it but I'm afraid the stage itself might scare her off. Oh well, it won't stop me from trying. Today we went and saw "The Little Mermaid". The show was well done. The set was amazing and I really enjoyed the characters. Keara liked Ariel and Flounder the best. I wish I could have brought Kailei but she is still a little young yet. I do think parts would have scared her at times and it was probably longer then she would have sat quietly. I did take them both to see Hairspray (the movie) and they liked it. That is definitely a must see for you theatre folks out there. Anyway, it is never a bad day when you can go to the theatre.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Well, Keara and I spent the day shopping. Somehow I managed to wait until the last weekend before she starts school to get her school supplies. When she met her teacher on Wednesday, her teacher asked Keara if she was ready for school to start. Keara replied, "No.". Not because she wasn't excited for school to start but because she didn't have her school supplies yet. So today we shopped until we dropped. We got all of her school supplies and then took care of getting items that we will need in the near future. I got halloween costumes, birthday gifts, baby shower gifts, dance class equipment and shoes for the girls. I felt so organized but also know I'll be back shopping before I know it (provided Zeb gives me the checkbook again). :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Arrival

We have a new niece and cousin. Anika (sp) was born on August 8th. She was 8lbs 2 ounces, and healthy. Her mom had to deliver her without an epideral (yikes!) because she came so fast. It was difficult for Lieu but both mom and daughter are doing OK now. Anika looks like her mom and a little like Kailei too. :) Kailei and Keara are just enthralled with her. Actually, Keara hasn't stopped talking about her new cousin. We are happy that everyone is well and look forward to watching Anika grow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Still sick....and tired.

Well, Kailei has the croup. Sleep seems to be non-existent in the house right now but what can you do? Keara is doing OK so that is good. Tomorrow we will go and meet her new teacher for school. Keara is nervous as usual but hopefully all will go well.

Kailei had a horrible bloody nose last night. No one in my family every really had these so it always freaks me out. It seemed to be pouring out and was difficult to stop. Kailei was not happy and crying so that made it a little worse. We finally got her calmed down as Zeb showed her that having a tissue up your nose could be funny (thank goodness for Dad). Whatever works, right?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Horse Show Fun

Well, since we arrived home from our vacation Keara has been sick and now Kailei is. I started work again so it was bound to happen. I feel like we spent half of last year sick and hope this does not mean this next year will be the same.

With Kailei sick, Keara and I headed out to watch Mark in a horse show up in Loveland. He did a great job driving and we enjoyed ourselves. Tracie and family were there of course. Gary was put to work immediately so Tracie and I walked around, watched the classes and watched the kids. They rode some rides, ate junk food and played in the dirt. I was afraid Keara would never get clean but alas the layers of dirt did come off. I told her earlier she was just filthy and she promptly told me that "it was a horse show and you were supposed to be dirty." I couldn't argue with that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Our Vacation - another long one

Well, now that you know how our week started it is only fair to shed some light on the rest of the week which was just fantastic. The McCann family reunion was a hit. I don't think anyone had a bad time. A big thanks to my cousin David, my Aunt AnnMarie and my Aunt Judy.

We stayed at Cheatheam Annex which is a military rec compound. They had lovely condos, houses and cabins for rent and my cousin David stood in line in the early morning to secure enough places for everyone to stay. We had a cabin and it was just great. Surrounded by trees and near a lake, we felt like we were in the mountains at times.

Tuesday we slept in rather late so we got a late start. We spent most of the day waiting for our luggage to arrive so it was rather uneventful until 6pm when the entire family got together. We hung out around the campfire, listened to the singing and guitar playing of Bill, Carter, Jimmy and others, ate smores (actually I think I ate an entire bag of marshmallows) and enlightened ourselves as to what has been happening in each others corner of the world. Keara and Kailei were both very shy to start so their interactions were limited to their immediate cousins.

Wednesday we drove to Virginia Beach which was just great. The water was a perfect temperature and although the waves were a little rough the boys (both young and old) had a blast body surfing. The girls went in and got mowed over by the waves but we were in nonetheless. Kailei enjoyed digging in the sand and Keara spent most of her time in the water. It was my favorite day of the vacation.

Thursday Kevin and Gary went fishing so the rest of us went to Jamestown. We meant my cousin and her family there (Sharon, Stefan, Kiernan, Maive, my Uncle Jack and Aunt Bernice) for a short while but then the kids got hungry and we split up. It was a very hot day and I'm not convinced the kids understand any of the historical relevance but they had fun climbing aboard ships, running through Indian tepees and walking through a colonial town. The kids got pretty tired in a short amount of time but we can say that we've been there at least.

Friday, Zeb watched the young ones and my sister, Mom and I got to go into Williamsburg for a nice lunch and a little shopping. However, this was the big night so we couldn't go far. Of course, since it was the official birthday party it rained. I could not believe our luck but it did pass over after a while. We took lots of pictures. We had a big picnic where each family brought there own food. They had pinatas for the kids and then we watched an amazing slide show of the family through the generations. So much time and effort went into this and it showed. We all received a DVD and I will certainly treasure it. Later we had cake and Nana was heard to say, "..that it was the best day of her life." That made it all worth it.

Saturday some folks went to the big swim park but Zeb played in a family baseball game and the kids went to the pool. It was another hot day so unless you were in the pool you really wanted to be inside. Some folks started their journeys back home so the numbers started to dwindle. Anyone who was left was invited to a pot luck dinner (which meant clean out the refrigerator) and we chatted until bed time. I really enjoyed this evening as well.

Sunday we had to check out and I believe my family and my mom and dad were just about the last to leave the place. We actually took off to Baltimore as that was where we were departing from on Monday. Mom and Dad took off to Ocean City to drop Mark off. When we got to Baltimore we immediately headed down to Inner Harbor which is a favorite of mine. We got to eat the famous Phillip's crab cakes and then we took a paddle boat ride at Kailei's insistence. It rained a little on us but we had fun and I think it totally made Kailei's day.

Monday we woke up bright and early and headed down to the National Aquarium. I LOVE this place and just had to get the girls there somehow. I was worried we might not get in but we didn't have a problem. We all had a great time. Right about lunch time we scooted over to the airport and headed for home. Fortunately, everything went smoothly.

This vacation was truly great. I hope my girls appreciated it in some small way. I have so many memories growing up surrounded by the McCann clan. It was always a blast to be in New York and have such a big extended family. I love that we are a part of this big, crazy, lovable bunch. And although we might not see each other as often as we would like, this reunion was definitely worth the 18 hours it took my family to get there.