Tuggin’ on the heart strings…

So, exactly how nuts am I? Nuts enough to even entertain the thought of adopting again. And I’m not talking about somewhere down the road when Zoë is a year or two older. Oh, no. Now.

When my “contact” (thanks a lot, Carol!) at Bethany tells me about a two-week old African-American baby girl who is completely healthy and BEAUTIFUL in cradle care because no one wants her, I have to just put the pieces of my heart back together. So here I sit at my computer, trying to figure out if there is ANY possible way we can take her…

How can we finance that?
Can we find a mini-van?
Can we fit her in our tiny house?
Will my nerves be able to handle three kids (two of which would be under a year old)?
Will I ever sleep again? — I’ve JUST gotten used to sleeping through the night again!
WHY are people SO shallow that the fact that she is African-American even an issue?
How would Dante and Zoë handle a new baby sibling?

So, there’s also a couple other “issues” with social-medical background, but isn’t this the case with EVERYONE?

Am I really insane?

Realy, seriously, if anyone is even CONSIDERING adopting, PLEASE call the Lancaster office of Bethany TODAY. This little one is not alone in her situation.

Family Vacation: The rest of the week

So… Why did I stop blogging about our vacation? Because, well, sharing ONE computer amongst two computer geeks leaves little time for blogging, particularly in conjunction with an activity-filled vacation.

That, and the Little Man came down with a horrid cold with fever sometime late afternoon or early evening of Wednesday. I guess that explains his behavior earlier in the week. Poor little miserable guy!

So here’s the run-down of the rest of the week’s vacation:

Thursday: We were back to Philly to spend time visiting with my cousin’s family. Darv was actually working late, but we had a great time with his wife, Morna, and his three kids. Dante informed me that his favorite part of the vacation was having dinner with his second-cousins… Maybe because of the meatloaf and the ice cream! It was good we didn’t have heavy activity scheduled for the day since Dante was at the peak of his cold at this point.

Friday: Dante was still not feeling well, but we had planned to head to Sesame Place. He was disappointed that he didn’t get to see Abby Kadabby on Tuesday and we wanted to see the parade. So… we took our time getting ready, had a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and headed in to Sesame Place right before noon. Good timing… We had just enough time to see Abby’s show, hit the gift shop for souvenirs, and see the parade before a VERY miserable Little Man hit melt-down. So it was back to the hotel to rest some more. He was disappointed that he didn’t get to play in the water again, but we didn’t think that would be the smartest move.

Saturday: We headed up to Easton to the Crayola Factory and the Historical Canal Museum (bonus — we didn’t even know that the second was upstairs from the first). Crayola was cool and we did several projects there. Dante especially liked the model magic and seeing how crayons & markers were made. We also got to do wax dripping with melted crayons, which was very cool. Fun fact we learned: Crayola started putting “safety holes” in the caps of their markers so that if accidentally swallowed, a child would still be able to breathe until it was removed. At the Canal Museum upstairs, Dante loved playing with the model canal and taking his boat through the locks. He went through that three times! He also learned about simple machines and had fun experimenting with pulleys, levers, and gears. After a late lunch and some more souvenirs, we were all exhausted and ready to head home.

Of course, after being gone for a week, it was nice to return home and see our family and friends! Dante particularly missed his Nana & Paw-Paw whom he usually sees everyday (since they live next door). I’ve posted photos on my Facebook account so if you’re not on there, you should be! Check ’em out!

Family Vacation Days 2&3: Sesame Place & Please Touch Museum

Vacation is getting more relaxing… We had to take our VERY nice Italian dinner from Monday night back to the hotel room to eat as the kids were too antsy and tired to behave in the restaurant. However, we had a nice dinner and Dante found his name on the wall at the restaurant (We’d been looking for the Bob Evans for dinner and the GPS took us to this place which bought this location out about 4 months ago… a little pricier than we intended to spend, but also a bit classier!)

Tuesday was filled with Sesame Place related activities and after initial trepidation on Dante’s part of all the rides, people, etc., I can honestly say we had a wonderful day. He enjoyed riding on Big Bird’s Balloon Race with Mommy and on Big Bird’s Rambling River with Daddy. He spent most of his time, however, in the various Water attractions like Ernie’s Waterworks and the Count’s Whatever it’s called… We also went to two shows: Big Bird’s Beach Party (which even included TELLY MONSTER being afraid of the ocean… shoulda seen that BEFORE going to the beach!) and Elmo’s World Live (Dorothy was thinking about Fishes). The highlight of the day was meeting the characters at dinner! We got to see, hug, talk to, and take photos with/of Big Bird, Elmo, Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Zoe. Unfortunately our Zoe was getting tired as the evening wore on, and by the time that muppet Zoe came to see her, she’d had enough!

Today, we went into downtown Philly to the Please Touch Museum (right near the Franklin Institute). It’s much like the Hands On House in Lancaster, a giant playroom with tons of stuff to do. Dante enjoyed the mirrors in the looking glass exhibit and allowed Mommy to get a picture of him and her at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Dante also enjoyed pretending to shop in the grocery store, building houses in the construction sites, and playing with the boats in the water. Zoe spent most of her time in the “Baby Barnyard” and loved hugging (and of course eating) the piggies, as well as playing with the wheels and the wooden caterpillar that zigzagged down the chute.

The hotel stay has been a novelty. Our tv works mostly (it fuzzes out randomly which is annoying and has more limited channels than we have at home), but the maid that came in yesterday while we were still here was speaking Spanish to Dante which he loved! We’re also really enjoying the pool (indoor heated, with hot tub at one end). Yesterday we all went down for an early morning swim.

We’re off to dinner now and Jeff is waiting for help to get the kids ready!

Family Vacation Day One: Ocean City, NJ

So… We are on our very first week-long, hotel-stay family vacation.

We left at just a little past 5:00 a.m. this morning. Despite all the hoping (and occasional suggestions from us), Dante did not sleep, as he was FAR too excited, but he finally settled in with his books, once I told him that we would not get there any faster, just because he kept asking “what does the little screen say now?” every five minutes! (Thanks, Mike and Ami for the GPS; it was quite handy — despite the tour of downtown Philly it took us on!)

We hit up a Jersey McDonald’s for breakfast. Dante wasn’t all that hungry and was slightly upset that we were getting out before we got to the beach, but he did decide that a chicken on a biscuit sounded good. The food was so much more greasy than our McDonald’s at home. Isn’t the food supposed to be made following Standard Operating Procedures?

Post-grease, we piled back in the car and Dante continued his modern version of “Are we there yet?” (“Not far now, my little smurflings…”) We arrived in Ocean City, NJ around 8:30-ish and found plenty of open space in a lot down near the beach and figured the $10.00 would be worth it to be closer to the car. We were right.

We hauled stuff down to the beach and things were going just fine. Had trouble rolling the stroller full of baby and stuff on the sand, so we ended up lifting and carrying the whole thing down closer to the water. That’s when the trouble started. Dante took one look at the ocean and decided he couldn’t follow us… He stood on the beach screaming for us to come back for him. I think the early morning had finally caught up with him.

We finally settled in on our blanket and Zoe had her first taste of sand, while Daddy took Dante down to get his feet wet. Well, that was it. From there it was one fear-of-the-ocean-hot-sun-on-an-over-tired-and-under-fed-kid tantrum after another… and once Zoe decided she’d had enough, we packed up after one small sand castle victory to head up to the boardwalk. At least I got my feet wet.

We wandered on the boardwalk for a bit, bought the kids each a book at Atlantic Book Shop and a Smoothie at the Banana place that took over Java Jane’s (not too bad, btw), and then piled back into the car to find our hotel.

And here we are… sitting in our hotel room and getting ready to go find lunch/supper… whatever meal it is at this point.