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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Will Hoge - Number 14

I spent the G-20 Eve out in the big city with some friends. Greg and I left the kids behind (with close supervision) and went to Club Cafe for my 14th Will Hoge concert. I think it was number 14. I haven't seen a Will show for about a year and a half. He was in a horrible accident about a year ago and is still recovering. He just started touring again about two months ago and I was really looking forward to getting to experience his music live again.

Greg and I grabbed some Primanti's and met up with Val and my concertBFF Brian. Will Hoge and his gang were playing the "early show" which sucked. It was nice to get home at a reasonable hour but not so nice that their time on stage was so limited so they could get out of there in time for the "late show" to start.

The opener was a solo artist named Luke Brindley. He played an acoustic guitar and accompanied it with his great voice. I really enjoyed his set although I didn't find anything with his music overly original. He did play one song, Dervish, that was really cool. It was an instrumental song influenced by Turkish music. Luke Brindley said he wanted to try something different and wanted everyone there to go home with a CD. He asked just that you give what you had, and if you didn't have any extra money, that was okay too. I haven't had a chance to give the album I picked up a listen but I am looking forward to it.

Next up was Will Hoge and his band. His band has changed a lot since last time I saw him. He still has the same drummer and bass player. His bass player just started playing with them right before I saw them last though, so he is pretty new. The keyboard player is gone and there is a new lead guitar. I had been hearing about some new instrumentation within the band and got to witness that firsthand. The lead guitar player played some keys as well as a ukulele. There was a great mix of some of songs from the new album, The Wreckage, as well as some gems from the band's history. Will probably spent as much of the show seated as he did standing. Pretty much for every slow song, he pulled up a chair due to his busted up leg. There was no encore. He doesn't usually play one at Club Cafe when he does the early show just because his time is limited and he doesn't want to waste the time to walk off the stage and back when they could be rocking instead.

After the show, the line to stop and talk to Will was really long. In the meantime, concertBFF mentioned a poster for the show that was hanging up in the venue to advertise. I told him to grab it but apparently he isn't as cool as I thought he was. So, I was left to rip the thing down myself.

I got to talk to Will Hoge for a few minutes after waiting over 30 minutes. I gave him this photo that I had Greg take months ago. Greg spotted this sign in our little town here one day so I convinced him to jump out of the car at a red light and photograph it.

I also picked up the new album. I haven't listened to it yet either. I am not in a very big hurry since I think I have heard every track off of it already. That is one of the great advantages to be a stalker.

Set List for the show:
Highway Wings
Secondhand Heart
Your Fool
Draw the Curtains
Lover Tonight
Better Off Now that You're Gone
Long Gone
Doesn't Have to be that Way
The Wreckage
Someone Else's Baby
Even if it Breaks Your Heart
Not That Cool
Dirty Little War
Sex, Lies, and Money
Too Late Too Soon

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Friday, September 25, 2009


I've really been enjoying this special time I get to spend alone with Will while Marcus is at school. I haven't totally adjusted to the routine yet and most days I am scrambling to find some way to entertain just one kid. The other day we baked some muffins. I am thinking this little guy of mine has been enjoying his time alone with Mommy as well.



Maya, Maya, Maya... She is doing good. I unofficially weighed her by weighing myself on the bathroom scale and then picking her up and repeating. She clocked in at 52 lbs. We recently decided that she is over the weight limit for the cosleeper that she has been sleeping in (yes, my dog used the cosleeper way more than the kids did) and dismantled that. She has not been happy. We all got one good night of sleep since when she realized that the memory foam dog bed on the floor is really comfortable but then the next night decided laying on my legs was still more comfortable.

Don't let this cuteness fool you though. She has a secret weapon. For whatever reason, she doesn't seem to understand that poison ivy is bad. Our house is surrounded by woods and therefore, surrounded by poison ivy. She runs into the stuff headfirst and of course is completely unaffected by it. I have pretty much had a couple spots the entire summer mainly from her getting the oils on her fur and then cuddling with me. Marcus loves to cuddle with Maya too and is currently sporting a scabby nose. I think Maya must have gotten poison ivy on the top of her head and then he did his typical rubbing of the bridge of his nose on her head. I thought I was in the clear this time, that Marcus must have rubbed off the last of the oils. (Just had to take a long pause in typing there to scratch like crazy.) I am covered in the stuff right now. It is spread out in little spots on my arms and hands which isn't that big of a deal. However, my face is covered. Both of my cheeks are a scabby mess as well as the whole underside of my chin/neck. And my lips. Yes, I have poison ivy on my lips. Marcus took a look at my face and said, "You have a U on it!" That pretty much sums it up. I have a great big nasty itchy U shaped rash from one cheek, across the chin, and back up the other side. Loving that pup of mine is making me miserable. And ugly.

I hate poison ivy.


Marcus's Photo Skillz

While Will was finishing up dinner a couple nights, Marcus decided to take some photos for a blog entry. This is Marcus's photo rendition of a simple tour of our house.

Will eating dinner:

Greg asking, "Does this plate make my butt look big?"

We recycle and throw stuff away too:

The junk in Will's scary pink room:

Laundry room:

Main bathroom:

Marcus's room:

Bathroom door (I only know which door this was because of the scuff on it that I can't get rid of):

Power outlet:


A booster seat in desperate need of being washed:


Refrigerator artwork:


Stairs to the basement:



Toy box:

Dining room light fixture:

Greg looking totally normal:


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I keep thinking I already posted about this. I have thought how I needed to post about this so many times at this point, it feels like I already did it.

Last week I took the kids to the zoo and met up with our friends Jennifer and Karla. I decided to be brave and not take a stroller with us to the zoo for the first time. It went really well. All three kids had a great time running and chasing each other. Marcus has really opened up socially since starting school and it was great to see him jump right in with his new friend Karla. We checked out the reptile building during this trip. I didn't even know there was a reptile building until we were in it. Will and Marcus talked a lot all evening about the snakes and frogs. Thanks for a wonderful day Jennifer and Karla!

(I am really restraining myself from making a fun guy/fungi joke with this first picture. Must. Not. Be. Corny. Oh, but sooo want to!)


Saturday, September 19, 2009

GPAFG Picnic

Last Saturday was the annual GPAFG (Greater Pittsburgh Adoptive Families from Guatemala) Picnic. It was the first year that we were able to attend. The kids all had a great time playing on the playground, eating, playing soccer, hanging out in the huge sandbox, and smacking the pinata with a stick. The adults seemed to be having a great time as well. There were over 25 families from the area in attendance and I counted over 30 little Guatemalan faces. It was amazing to see that many families like ours all in one place.

If you are interested in learning more about GPAFG or would like to join, check out our website (gpafg.com), search for us on Facebook, and/or join the GPAFG Yahoo Group. We try to have events every month and our next event is a Pumpkin Picking trip in October.

I, of course, forgot my camera and had to take some photos with my phone.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Choo Choo Mania

My dad likes trains. A lot. I have probably mentioned this before but I am too lazy to go back through all my old posts to find my last post on the subject. My dad has a huge room dedicated to his trains. Almost every time we go over there, Marcus asks to see Pap-pap's trains. During our most recent viewing of the trains, I told Marcus that he should ask Pap-pap if he could drive. I vaguely recall my dad showing me at some point how to work the trains but for the most part, the trains were not to be touched by my siblings and me. They were my dad's trains only. (This isn't to say that maybe, perhaps, there might have been a time or ten that possibly my brother and I played with my dad's trains without permission and did our best to park the trains back in the right place when we were done so we wouldn't be discovered.) Marcus was in heaven when Pap-pap lifted him onto his lap and let him take the controls. Pap-pap also looked rather happy to be sharing his love of trains.

Will got a chance to drive as well. I was getting a bit nervous at the speed Will The Conductor was operating at.

Although most of the wall space now in my dad's train room is covered with actual trains, one small space is still reserved for this masterpiece of a painting I did when I was a kid.

(Any iPhone users out there have any advice for getting photos off my phone and onto my computer? I prefer to use my camera, but often don't have it with me when a photo opportunity arises. Right now the method of emailing the photos to myself and then having to save them on my computer is really tedious.)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nationality Fail

About two weeks ago (since I am behind on blogging) I was at the grocery store with the kids. I was chatting with our favorite cashier who always says how much she likes Marcus and Will. She asked if my husband was Filipino. Perhaps I could maybe see that - my kids half Filipino. However, this woman has met my husband. She just dug herself a deeper hole when she went on to say that Greg looked Filipino when she met him. What do you think? Filipino or not?


Monday, September 14, 2009

A Week and a Half

How long does it take for a kid to get sick from pre-school. A week and a half. We are talking three full days. That was it. Then Marcus came home coughing and sneezing. Despite massive amounts of hand washing and paranoia on my part, I still ended up with the cold as well. So far Will and Greg have been spared. Apart from a cough, Marcus is pretty much done with this cold. I am hopped up on cold meds and still ready to be done with the stuffy nose and sneezing.

I'm having flashbacks of the time Marcus spent in day care. Every two weeks he would bring home a new cold. Every two weeks I would get his cold as well. Then I would end up miserable from a sinus infection for a week. I would start feeling better just in time the two weeks to be up and for him to bring home another cold.

I knew the sickness was about to find us again with the starting of school. I was at least hoping we could have made it one more week.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

4 8 15 16 23 42

Blogging by The Numbers

4. Marcus is doing great at school. I asked his teacher today how he was adjusting and all she had to say was that he was doing just fine. He saw me outside the classroom today when I went to pick him up. He started in on this slow smile that grew into a giant smile and ended with him running to me for a hug.

8. Will started sleeping in a toddler bed a few months ago with no problems. Last week he repeatedly got out of his bed at nap time and then proceeded to trash his room. I told him that if he got out of bed again, he would be back to sleeping in a baby bed. Less than five minutes later, he was out of bed. Will is sleeping in a crib again.

15. I've been attempting to knit again. Just been too busy to really pick up the yarn lately. I started this glove for my brother's better half in March and finished it in August. I figured it would be a quick project because I only needed to knit one... It still managed to take me five months. It will be a Christmas present.

Yesterday I started another potential Christmas present that I can't really blog about since the recipient is a reader. This second project it going much faster. I'm probably 40% done after just over 24 hours since I started. Hopefully I can keep up the pace so I am not finishing up on Christmas Eve. Only 4 more months to finish!

16. I started re-watching Lost starting at season 1. Anyone who thinks that the creators of that show were just making it up as they go along is crazy. Speaking of crazy, I was a bit crazily addicted to watching it during every moment my kids were in bed and I wasn't. I watched the entire first season in a week. I decided I better slow my pace and do some other things around here that needed done since then. I'm currently on season 2, episode 7.

23. My cousin who lives out of state told me over the weekend that he and his wife are starting the process to become foster parents. They will also be able to adopt through the foster system and are hoping to bring a school-aged child into their lives. How exciting!

6. I signed Marcus up for soccer! I am far more excited about this than he is. It is just some basic instruction in soccer skills for 3-4 year olds. He will go for one hour once a week for eight weeks. I am already starting to freak out about the idea of winter+kids+puppy and nothing to do. At least this will give us something to do one morning a week. If the soccer stuff turns out to be a good time, by the time the next session rolls around Will will be old enough to do it as well. I am sure Will is not going to be at all happy this time around that he isn't playing soccer.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

First Full Day

Today Marcus had his first full day at preschool. My mom came over in the morning to hang out with Will so I could take Marcus alone. I wanted to make it special for Marcus and also wanted to be able to concentrate on Marcus instead of chase Will around the room and keep him from clearing all the toys off the shelves.

I have let Marcus pick out his outfit for his two days of school so far. I have given him a couple choices in outfits. Both times he picked out the most preppy of the outfits. I figured he would go for comfort - the jogging pants or the Steelers shirt. Nope. My boy went for the polo shirts.

Marcus's teacher said on Tuesday that the parents could stay as long as they felt their child needed them to today. I was in the room for about two minutes when I discovered that there was only one other mom that was still around. I snapped a quick picture of my big boy, my big boy who never ever smiles in photos. I am thinking he was happy to be there.

But, it was time to leave. I asked Marcus if he wanted to keep doing artwork or if he wanted to go play with the other kids. Marcus prefers to do his own thing. He avoids the social scene like the plague. He said, "I play with other kids." I knew it was time to say goodbye to my baby boy and let him be a preschooler. I felt the tears coming on and all I could manage was a quick hug and a kiss and I had to go.

Out in the hallway, there was no room to walk. Every single mother was looking in the window spying on their kid to make sure their kid was okay. Inside the room, every kid was fine. There wasn't a single tear from a single kid. Out in the hallway, we were all holding back our tears.

Back home, Will was far more upset that Marcus didn't return than Marcus seemed to be that I left him at preschool. I had such a wonderful time with just Will. My little musician and I goofed around on the various guitars that we have in our house. We tickled each other and cuddled a little and then headed outside to do some running around in the yard. All the little two year old things that Will does that tend to bother me either weren't present when Will was sans Marcus or else I just didn't feel torn in two direction and overlooked them. I am looking forward to even more of these days of getting to have just Will.

My mom came back over to hang out with Will so I could pick up Marcus alone. I wanted to be able to have a few minutes alone with him after his first day. As I was pulling up into the parking lot, I saw his class heading in from the playground. They were all walking in a line holding onto a rope with rings on it. It was the cutest thing ever. Back in the building the moms were peeking in the window again. I stole a glance and saw Marcus front and center during story time, completely captivated. Then I watched him get up, run over to get his backpack like he had been doing it for years, and then come back for a seat on the rug to wait for me.

I was greeted with a big hug and smile that almost made leaving him worth it. He told me about all the things they did today - coloring, sang songs, played on the playground, ate snack, and played with toys. I asked him if he met any new friends. He said he did. I asked if they had names. He said yes but wouldn't tell me what their names were. I asked him if he had a girlfriend yet. He said, "Uh huh!" I asked what her name was. He paused, smiled really big, and said, "It's Mommy!"

My little boy might be getting bigger but I love still being number one in his world.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I walked in Marcus's room this morning and he was already awake. He very excitedly started the following conversation.

Marcus: I go school today?!?!
Me: Nope, not today. You have school tomorrow though.
Marcus: Mommy go school to?
Me: Not tomorrow. Tomorrow Mommy can't go with you.
Marcus: Mommy hafta go. I can't drive yet!

That's my little smarty pants. Here I was all worried and it turns out that all he needs his good old mom for anymore is a ride. I guess this will be what it is like when he is a teenager too.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Day 1

Woke up today thinking that this was the first day of the rest of my life. Yeah, probably a little over dramatic. It was the first day of Marcus's preschool, which means that from now on, we will be a family that has a school routine.

Of course, I was a ball of emotions. I thought that I was supposed to be sad that my little boy is growing up but I really haven't felt much sadness over this. Mostly, I am just excited. He will be learning so many new things and meeting so many new people. He could use a little boost into the world of socially interacting with his peers and not depending on me all the time. Plus, for the first time ever, it will give me a chance to spend some time alone with Will.

Greg took the day off from work today to check out Marcus's school. We were up and dressed about an hour before we needed to head out and had settled in for cartoons. That is when I felt the first of the tears coming on. Marcus didn't want to watch cartoons. He was so excited about school he just wanted to know if it was time to go yet. I was worried that my kid would be the kid in the class that is clinging to his mom's leg when it is time to go or else I would be dragging him out the door to get to preschool. Nope. He was all for it. When we arrived he put his backpack on and walked from the car into his room without even holding my hand.

Today was orientation and Thursday is his first real day. It was more like a practice day. We arrived and played in the room a bit. We got to meet his teacher who I actually know. (I played softball with her daughter. His teacher lives in our neighborhood and I passed her and her husband walking last night when I was out walking the pup.) After a little meeting to get to know his teachers, it was time to leave the kids behind for a few minutes. I waited for the panic to pass so I could deliver the news to Marcus. I bent down, took a deep breath and said, "Mommy and Daddy..." Then I had to stop, take another deep breath, "...have to leave for a few minutes. You can stay here and play with the toys and we will be right back." He looked a little worried and then gave us both kisses. We left without looking back. I sneaked a little peak through the window after we walked out and saw him standing there with his typical blank face (see most pictures of him for an example) holding the hand of one of his teachers.

After attending a little meeting that just reviewed policies and things we should know about the preschool, we headed back to the room. I saw him through the window completely engaged in cooking up some pretend food. He was so involved that Greg and I stood a few feet from him for a few minutes and he didn't even know we were back. When I called to him, he smiled real big and said, "Mommy! You back!" Then he went right back to playing. Then he didn't want to leave.

To say I am proud of my little boy is an understatement. As usual, he continues to amaze me every day and remind me most all of the worries I have about raising my kids end up being a waste of time. I have told Marcus several times this week how much I bet his birth family would be proud of him too. I will never know of all the dreams they have for him, but my guess is that one of their dreams is that he gets to go to school and have a good education. Most of my sadness today comes from the fact that his birth family didn't get to share his joy with him today.