the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kids on Babies

Been doing my best at keeping Marcus and Will in the loop about these babies growing in my belly and the impending changes of life around here. It is something I never had to do before. Marcus was only 19 months old when Will came home to us so there wasn't a whole lot we could do at that point to prepare him for a new sibling. We still have a long way to go (I'm 17 weeks along today) before these babies are ready to make their way into our home. As an added complication, because I'm carrying twins and I have some health issues, the chances of having preemies that need to spend some time in the NICU are really high. So, we really have no idea when these babies will be joining us or what their health status will be when they come into the world. We want Marcus and Will to be as prepared as possible for all the possibilities.

Marcus and Will enjoy seeing all the ultrasound photos we get. I have ended up with a lot of ultrasounds at this point. Their favorite photo so far is one from around 12 weeks that shows the tiny circle of one of the baby's bottoms and his/her little legs sticking out. Each time I bring home photos, Will asks if I have one of a baby butt again.

The only purchases that have been made for these new additions so far are two little bouncy seats I picked up at a yard sale. When I brought them home, we put two teddy bears in them and Marcus and Will had a blast rocking them and "feeding" them. Will in particular has quite a fondness for babies and LOVES taking care of any babies he can get his hands on. Marcus was more for doing a little rocking and asking lots of questions.

Today I told Marcus and Will how in a few more weeks they might be able to put their hands on my belly and feel the babies moving in there. Marcus tried looking in my belly button for the babies but announced that he couldn't see them in there.

We talk a lot about things babies do and things babies don't know how to do yet. Will and Marcus both tell me often that sometimes babies cry. I wish they wouldn't remind me of that fact quite as often as they do. Because of our situation, I explained that sometimes babies are so small that they don't know how to eat or breathe yet and machines have to do that for them until they learn. Out and about Marcus has pointed out babies and asked me if that baby knows how to breathe yet. It makes us all sad that we even have to think about this but happy to know that Marcus and Will will be prepared if it is something we have to face.

I tell the boys often about how they grew in their birthmoms' bellies and they look like their birthmoms and birthdads. These babies will probably look more like Greg and me since they are growing in my belly. It is a concept I know they really don't get yet. It is also something that I am sure I will be trying to find ways to explain and make sense to everyone in our family for years to come. I tried to make a game out of it once saying that their birthparents had dark hair and eyes and now Marcus and Will have dark hair and eyes. Then I asked what they thought our babies would look like. Marcus said very wisely, "No one knows, Mommy. Only God."


Sunday, August 29, 2010

DMB, RCPM, and TP&THB with DBT

This happened so long ago and I can't believe I am bothering to post about it, but here it goes - the summer concert series.

Let me start off by saying that if you are pregnant and suffering from horrible morning sickness, I don't recommend that you decide to brave the monstrous heat and humidity of summer and head out to some concerts. However if, like me, you had already invested a good deal of money on tickets that were purchased before becoming pregnant and you are armed with some anti-nausea meds and some good planning, it can be done.


First up in early July was Dave Matthews Band at PNC Park. I've never been to a concert there so that in itself was a good reason to go. My girls Cara and Val and I decided to splurge on tickets that would put us right on the field in front of the stage. We were close!

Not as close as my friend Brian wdecided to get, but he also ended up at the ER after the concert with mild heat stroke, so I am glad we were where we were. The opening band was Zac Brown Band. I had never heard of them but they were awesome. Lots of fun and I'm definitely a fan of theirs now. We did decide to move back a bit from the stage for the DMB portion of the show simply because we could actually see better not crammed in so tight and the airflow made a huge difference to how we were all feeling. Concert was great. Mostly. I wasn't impressed with the set list and felt several of the songs they chose to play I have just heard too many times live to get excited about. All was well though. I survived with the help of a sandwich that may or may not have been stashed discretely in the bottom of my purse. I even stayed up past 9pm to see the entire show!


Four days later I braved another concert, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at Thunderbird Cafe. Brian had recovered from his heat stroke so he joined Greg and me for the show. We got there early, ate, and may have possibly managed to sneak into the concert area of the bar before it opened and grab a table and seats so we didn't have to stand. As far as sustaining a healthy evening, this concert was by far the worst. I drank glass upon glass of water and sweated out every bit, and all I was doing was sitting. The venue was far too crowded and far to hot. I heard several complaints later of people that had to watch the show on the TVs at the bar because they couldn't even get into the concert area. The concert was good. Not great, but good. Once again, could have had a better set list. Glad they skipped over a couple of their "typical" songs they play every show but wasn't impressed with the songs they chose to replace them with. There were some gems in there I was really excited about. Sadly, I was mostly just hoping the show would end so I could get some fresh, cool air. I think it was probably about 90 degrees outside after the show but that was a welcome relief from the indoor situation.


Finally Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were in town. Well, in nearby Burgettstown. Greg was on the fence about going but decided he was up for it when he heard that Drive-By Truckers were the opening band. Also in tow were Val and Brian. I was a bit worried about how I would survive this show simply because the weather forecast predicted it was going to be a scorcher. They weren't kidding. Finding a shady place to tailgate was even a challenge. Greg engineered a device so that we could use our beach umbrella for shade which was comical, but a lifesaver. As usual, security did a quick search of my purse when we went in. I had put a couple garbage bags in there in case my morning sickness (which is more like all day sickness) got the best of me. However, the security lady said there was no way I would be allowed inside the venue with garbage bags. Umm, what? I am still puzzled to this day what sort of malice they thought I was going to perform with two garbage bags. So, I went in without my barf bags... yet Mrs. Security Lady was so distracted by my garbage bags that she never noticed the giant sandwich I had in my purse. The Drive-By Truckers portion of the show was decent. They just came out with a new album and most of the songs they played were from that album. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers also had just come out with a new album. They played four songs from their new album and chose to play all four of them back to back. The Heartbreakers sure know how to put on a crowd pleasing show, sticking mostly to their greatest hits that are tried and true and everyone can sing along to. Mr. Petty was cracking me up dancing around the stage with maracas and made me hope that when I am that old, I can still shake my maracas! All in all, a good time but a really short concert. I don't think the fans were complaining much though because towards the end of the show, the skies opened up and dumped some very cold rain on us. Everyone went from dying from the extreme heat earlier to trying to avoid hypothermia. I have never witnessed a dash for the gates post concert like I witnessed that night.

Summer concert series is over. Usually I find a show or two to go to during the fall and winter. I'm thinking I will just take the rest of this year off though.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2nd Annual Guatemala Picnic

We attended a picnic over the weekend hosted by a family I was introduced to on Facebook. Last year we went as well and I have to say it was somewhat awkward to show up at a party given by people we had never met. It was far less awkward this year and we knew far more families in attendance. We were all too busy to do a headcount but my estimate is about 15 children (ages 3-5) from Guatemala and their parents. The plan was to just stay for a short time but Marcus and Will were having so much fun playing tag and running "with the boys" (they did play with plenty of girls too but only seemed to talk about the boys) and Greg and I were having a great time talking with old friends and meeting new ones that we stayed on long past the kids' (and my) bedtime.

Greg took lots of pictures which I am not going to post since I don't know how to track down all the parents to make sure it is okay with them. Just picture lots of super cute kids having a ton of fun.

I was listening to several parents share their adoption stories with each other and I realized how much of our stories' details I have just not thought about or even forgotten over the past few years. I went from finding myself curled up on the floor in the fetal position thinking that my kids would never find themselves into my arms to not even remembering exactly why I was so hopeless at the time. How many times did we get kicked out of PGN for each of our adoptions? Just not sure anymore yet when it happened it was the end of the world. Of course we can never get back those early months that we didn't get to spend with our children, but now it is far more easy to see the blessing of all the time we have had with our children.

Sadly there are still about 900 families stuck in the middle of government policies and broken promises waiting for their children to come home from Guatemala. I can't even begin to express (or imagine) the long list of details and setbacks in their processes that they still live every day.


Monday, August 09, 2010

Great American Pastime


Sunday, August 08, 2010

My Kids Suck

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page that her son wanted a stick vacuum for his fourth birthday. It got me thinking... Housework has more or less been put on hold around here since my doctor recommended I do very little work combined with the fact that I just don't feel up to doing much these days either. One thing the doctor specifically said was, "I don't want you vacuuming." This was bad news. Two small kids plus a dog that sheds a ton results in a house that could benefit from daily vacuuming. It just doesn't fit into the schedule at this point. And so, a stick vacuum was purchased.

You would have thought the kids were in Disney World! They were so excited about getting to use a REAL vacuum. There was arguing, but just a little. Then deals were made between the two of them over who would get to vacuum which room. They kept tabs on each other to make sure no one was getting more time with the vacuum than someone else. I watched with a huge smile on my face. It was just one of the many times in my life I have been so proud of the things my kids can do!


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Keeping Cool in the Summer Time


Friday, August 06, 2010

Updates on Big Kids

- Marcus is still continuing with soccer and loving it. The place where he plays is indoors and generally parents and sibling and such hang out on the field area. Lately the coaches have requested that parents and siblings head to the balcony in hopes that the kids will stay more focused. It is so much fun having a birds eye view of Marcus playing and interacting with his teammates and coaches without him realizing we are watching. He is so much more outgoing than he is when we are close by.

- Will picked up a plastic gun attached to a video game at the sports complex where Marcus plays soccer. Will announced, "Mommy, I'm going to dry my hair," and proceeded to use the gun like a blow dryer. I was pretty excited that my kid thought that was exactly what he was supposed to do with that object. Greg then pointed out that it was probably a good idea to teach him what a gun really was, or else he could come across one some day and start pointing it at people's heads unknowingly,

- Marcus has been great at taking care of me on days when I don't feel so hot or am just really tired. Recently I got him up from rest time and he could tell I was just exhausted. He suggested I take a nap in his bed while he took care of all the things I usually do. After he went to the bathroom, he got Will out of bed and made sure that Will followed all the steps for proper potty use and hand washing techniques. The conversation I overheard between the two of them as they worked through the bathroom routine was priceless. Then Marcus got a snack out for both kids and offered to get me one too. I declined. Instead Marcus brought me a stuffed bear to make sure I was comfortable while I rested. I hope that kid never loses his helpful attitude.

- Really hoping this doesn't jinx things, but I finally think that we are getting Will out of his crib and into a "big boy bed". We tried months ago and it was just a disaster. His room is now kid proofed to the max, like probably couldn't be much safer unless we padded the walls. (I actually spent a couple hours in a padded room at a hospital with a couple friends once but that is a different story...) He has been napping in his big boy bed for a week now and was told if he acts like a big boy and stays quiet, he will be allowed to sleep in his big boy bed at night as well. The next stage will be getting him and Marcus to share a room. I'm not looking forward to that transition.

- I've become one of those moms that starts wishing summer away and counting the days until school starts. As much as we try to encourage (and force) Marcus and Will to not spend all of their time together, they still end up together most of the time... picking on each other, harassing each other, teasing each other, getting on each other's nerves, getting on every one's nerves that has to listen to their bickering. It will be a big change for both of them when school starts and they get to have their own lives and own friends for several hours each weekday.


Thursday, August 05, 2010


This summer hasn't exactly gone as planned. Plans didn't really involve me hanging out on my couch but that has pretty much how things have gone. Early in the summer we did find the coolest toy ever. If you don't check out the dollar store regularly, I highly recommend it. Sure, sometimes you only get a week's worth of play out of something, but you did only pay a dollar for it. These fabulous bubble wands (which have been glued and taped back together multiple times) are one of my favorite toys.

When the doctor tells you to spend the majority of your time relaxing, there just isn't much else that is more relaxing than watching two adorable kids make bubbles!