Saturday, June 30, 2007

...Moments with Aly

For some reason we let Aly stay up pretty late last night. Maybe it was because David was watching a movie and I was busy doing laundry and responding to some email and puttering in the kitchen. She was having fun playing and...well...time just got away from us.

Anyway, I had made a batch of brownies to take to a friends house today and they were sitting on the couter cooling. Sometime later Aly came up to me in my office and said,

"Um, Mom?"

"yes Aly?"

"I couldn't help but notice that that package of brownies was sitting on the counter and it is empty. Then I noticed that I smelled brownies. I wonder why?"

~ Yes, she IS 3 years old!"~

"That would be because I cooked the brownies and they are on the counter cooling."

"Oh, well that makes sense."

~a brief pause...I kept typing and she kept standing there~

"Um Mom?"

"Yes, Aly?"

"Maybe I could taste the brownies?"

"Maybe you could taste them tomorrow. I made them to take to Uncle Bryan and Aunt Gloria's house with us"

"oh. okay. If you sis-ist" (I am assuming she meant I you INSIST) :-)

I'm doomed when she gets too much older!!

I've been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Angie who is adopting baby Emma. Click on her name to see her blog.
The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Okay...Here goes nothing!

1. I was born and raised in St. Augustine Florida. There was a paragraph about St. Augustine in your 5th grade history is the oldest continuously established settlement in the United States. 1565 baby...that's old!!! My parents were both also born and raised there.

2. I tend to be a control freak. Don't believe me? Just ask my hubby. When Aly starts exhibiting that lovely behavior and I get all...well...control freak about it...he says, "Shelley...where do you think she gets it?????" I know...I know....I really do try to not do that, but sometimes it just sneaks up on my and slaps me upside the head!!!

3. Angie...I'm with you on this one....I am a napper!!! I can't stand to drive long distances because I fall asleep in the car at the drop of a hat. If I'm not driving, don't even expect me to keep you awake!! I am usually asleep seconds after laying down at night. It took David forever to realize that he can't have serious conversations with me at bedtime because I will miss most of it. Lili seems to be most like me on this one.

4. I am addicted to the internet! David used to LOVE that commercial where the guy is surfing the web and that sign comes up on the screen that said something like "You have reached the end of the internet. There is no more! Go back! " He has all kinds of firewalls and security stuff on my computer because I am relentless!!! But, knock on wood, I have only had virus' a couple of times and my computer crashed once ( I don't think that one was my fault!!). Anyway, if you want to know something just give me a holler...I will find it for you on the web!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

5. I always sneeze in three's. Yep...I'm serious...always in threes. When I was in highschool my friends would always wait for me to finish and then say, "Bless you cubed". Seriously...if you ever catch me sneezing and I only let out two, don't think you caught me...stick around, I will sneeze one time to make up for it. Oh and ...I sneeze REALLY LOUDLY!!!!!!!!!!!

6. I am a packrat. I get it honestly from my mother...she is the poster child for Pack Rat!!! I have tried for years to overcome this sick little habit because it can REALLY take over. I think I have done pretty well, but it is something that you never are free from and it builds over time!! We spent 7 years as houseparents with a Children's Home and we just moved this past January...HOLY COW...we apparently hadn't had a yard sale in a while! We try to have yard sales regularly to get rid of excess and that usually helps a bit.

7. I am a big Jimmy Stewart fan. I guess my facination isn't like it used to be (, know the drill) but I do love to watch his movies. He was just the coolest!! When David and I got married he bought a book of poems by JS and also a couple of books about him and "It's a Wonderful Life (see #8) and sent them to JS's personal secretary to have them autographed for me. I love them!!!! The funny part is that JS was getting up there in age and so one of the books is signed to "The Fwiller's" instead of "The Swindler's". It makes me laugh to think about that secenario..."Mr Stewart, please sign this one to The Swindler's" "Huh??? Did you say the Fwiller's??" "No Mr. Stewart, the Swindler's" "Oh...okay...The Fwiller's"

8. My favorite movie is "It's a Wonderful Life" We watch it 50 times starting Thanksgiving night. Okay, well maybe not 50, but A LOT!! I can't wait for my girls to love that movie as well. (Please God, don't let them hate will crush me!!) I even have the whole Christmas Village of the Movie. David moved heaven and earth (and kept Ebay in business last year) collecting all the pieces for me. Of course we will have to set up a tent outside this year at christmas to actually set it all up...that or move all of the furniture out of the living room and put up tables!!! :-) Oh well...we do what we must!!!

Now...who should I tag...





Kim that's all I can think of for now. If I think of anyone else I will post later.

Happy reading!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Survivor location revealed!!

We used to be die hard Survivor fans. We were glued each week as the constestants tried to Ourwit/Outlast/Outplay each other to the bitter end. Suffice it to say that we were totally over it after about 4-5 seasons. Imagine my excitement to find out that the upcoming season will take place in China!!! More specifically in the Jiangxi Province...where both of our Empresses are from!!
I cannot wait to again be glued to every minute of it!! Even Aly is fun will this be!!!

Click here Survivor in China! to link to the article

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Life with Lili...

Little Tiger Lili has come so far in the last six months. I have no idea!!!! She is nearly caught up developmentally after several months of Physical therapy. She began to walk in March and although her balance still leaves much to be desired, it is wonderful to see her take off across the room under her own steam! She climbs up and down the stairs with ease now and walks outside (she wouldn't do that for the longest time). She climbs in and out of chairs...and in and out and in and out and in and out. She is learning sign language and will use the signs on her own now when she wants something, so she is understanding them. She can feed herself with a spoon or a fork and she has that whole pincer grasp thing down pat now! :-) I guess the biggest thing is that she is sleeping in her own room in the crib now! Hallelujah!!! She is quite the little sleeper now...which is big if you remember our trip to China and the first few months home.

We are still having some other issues with her however. She cries at the drop of a hat for the craziest reasons...sometimes for seemingly no reason at all! It is just insane. She is about to drive us nuts with the crying. The good news is that her recovery time has gone WAY down!! What used to be a 30 minute cry fest is now usually over in a couple of minutes. We used to not be able to distract her for anything, but now we can pretty easily get her on to another track quickly.

Poor thing is afraid of everything from soup to nuts. David has worked very hard with her trying to get her over her fears and getting her to toughen up that thin skin of hers. He has really done a good job, but it is far from resolved. I know it will take time to help her work through her issues, but MAN...this has been the most insane 6 months of my life...heck...the roller coaster has been on full speed for the better part of a year now and I am definately ready for it to stop!!!!!

Oh well...all things in their proper time. God is still on His throne and He is still in charge of this household, so I guess there is nothing else to do, but just keep the seatbelt on tight and hang on!! It is really hard waiting on God, but it always rewards us more than we could ever imagine!

I guess this is one of those blessings I was wanting to count! I have two beautiful children and a wonderful husband who loves me. How much more blessed could I ask for!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

...Moments with Aly

Aly still cannot say the "J" sound or the "Ch" sound. You have to understand that
it makes for some hilarious conversations! Just try saying "no more
monkeys jumping on the bed" without the J...see what I mean?
Anyway, Aly climbed up in David's arms this morning when he first woke up and he said to her, "Little Pig, Little Pig, Let me in" what was her response? "Not by the hair of my In-ee In In" It has gotten to the point that we try to come up with things for her to say that are full of J's and Ch's just so we can smile when she comes out with some hilarious variation. Let's see...there is "Mom, can we go to Ucky Eease (Chucky Cheese)" and then there is the famous "Ummmm, I like Icken (Chicken)" Or when she is trying to encourage Lili by saying "Good Obb, Lili (Good Job)"
I have to say that I will probably cry when she is finally able to say those two little
sounds...I "ust" love it!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

We are finally home...

Well, just after I posted that last post, David's laptop crashed!!! Gotta love it. Anyway, sorry for no news. I didn't have much time to post after that anyway.
Here is a picture of David's Mom and then one of she and Aly.

Some of you already know, but for those of you who don't, David's Mom passed on to be with our Lord last Thursday morning. He spent the day with her on Wednesday and the girls and I came to pick him up around 9:30 that night. He said that he told her that if the Angels come a knocking that it was okay to go with them. Well, they came knocking and on to Paradise she went!! Praise more pain or suffering!!!!

The funeral was beautiful and she would have been so pleased. All of the pall bearers and even the pastor wore Hawaiian shirts!! David did too and everyone who attended was asked to wear bright festive colors to celebrate her life and that fact that she was in Paradise with her Savior!!! What a wonderful send off it was.

Now we learn to live without her. It is not easy, as those of you who have buried parents well know. But, we will get through it and move on and tell our beautiful babies about their Aly called her. Please remember to pray for David as he makes this tough adjustment to life without his mom. They were very close and it is going to take a lot of getting used to!!!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Early morning thoughts

Emily, our neice, spent the night with us last night in our hotel room. The girls love her to pieces and so I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that Aly, who had a 10 minute meltdown the night before about sleeping anywhere but between David and I, was all to excited about sleeping with Lili and Emily in the other bed! :-)

I just got up a little while ago and everyone else is still snoozing. I went over to check on the girls and they are all huddled up as close as they could possibly be to Emily. It is so precious. I love to watch my girls sleep! I guess for Aly it the ONLY time she is still. She is such a live wire at all other times. To watch her sleep is so soothing for me. She is he most peaceful soul I know when she is taking those long deep breaths. I just love it. I told her one morning after she woke up that I loved to watch her sleep and that I love knowing that I can roll over in bed any time and see her beautiful face next to me. She smiled and said, "I love watching you sleep Mommy and knowing that I can roll over in bed any time and play with your hair!" That child loves to play with my hair! Most nights she won't go to sleep until she has given it the onceover. Of course now I have cut it all off short, so she wasn't too happy with me!

Sleep has been an issue for Lili since the day we got her. She wanted nothing to do with it for a long time. Some of the hardest times in my life have been in the last six months trying to help that child to adjust! She slept (sort of) in a pack n play just outside our bedroom until about April! The only way to get her to sleep was to hold her with something on her head to cover her eyes until she passed out and then run like the wind to get out of the room before she woke up again. But slowly we have gotten her into her crib in the nursery. We don't have to use the hat anymore, but she does like it very dark. Finally after nearly six months I can play a little music and rock her for a few minutes and put her, awake, into her crib and off she will go to dreamland. She ususally doesn't even wake up until around 9:30 or 10 in the mornings!!! Now I can enjoy watching her sleep! This child has so much anger still and is still super sensitive, but when she is all good!! That furrowed brow, which is her trademark, goes away and it is all peaceful in her beautiful little face. I must admit that I didn't know if this would ever happen. I mean it has been hard fought 6 months for us with her, but God is good and we have finally found our way with her.

She and Aly don't ever sleep together unless we are traveling like this or something, but i love to watch them sleep together. They snuggle up together and their arms and legs are all intertwined and it is such a special thing to see. They love each other so much and that is the best time to see it.

Have a happy Monday! I plan to spend most of today at the pool with the doesn't get much better than that!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Okay, I was just informed that I had the comments blockedso that only fellow bloggers could post comments. I have changed that so now anyone can post a comment and leave us a message. (Thanks Brittany!!)
So, looking forward to hearing from everyone!! :-)


Hello from South Carolina

Well, we made it and spent the afternoon with David's Mom yesterday. She was asleep for most of the visit, but it was good to see her and for the girls to see her as well. The nurse finally told us that she would most likely sleep the rest of the day and so we came on back to the hotel. It was so good to get in the pool with them and relax for a bit. David's sister, her husband and our nephew came over to swim with us.
Lili looked so cute with her ladybug float! She was NOT AT ALL happy with this whole pool/water thing, but she finally relaxed and began to enjoy it a little bit. Aly, on the other hand just jumped right in and was about three steps from spastic the entire time. She absolutely LOVES the water and would stay in it all day if we would let her. This is the first time she has been swimming since last summer, so I thought she might be a tad cautious until she got used to it again, but NO WAY JOSE!!! She kept swimming up to Lili and telling her it would be alright and that it was just water and it wouldn't hurt her. She really had a good time with her cousin Christopher and can't wait for them to come back later today.
Lili is enjoying our stay in the hotel. We all tried to bunk together in the big bed, but one night of no sleep was quite enough thank you!!! So, last night we pulled out the sleeper sofa and propped pillows under the edge of the matress and Lili had her own bed all to herself. She LOVED it. She promptly pulled the sheet and the blanket up over her head, took one long SIGH and passed out for the duration. one more Lili/Aly story and then I will add some pics and end this.
We didn't get into town the other night until about 1am. I really thought the girls would be asleep since they didn't sleep all day traveling, but they were wide awake and ready to go. We had to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things for breakfast and such and I just left them in the car with David. I fully expected to come out to the car and find them all losing their minds, crying and frustrated wanting to get out of the car, but instead David said that Aly started trying to tickle Lili with her foot (both of them in their carseats). He said that Lili started laughing and Aly kept trying and it made Lili laugh harder. Then Aly started laughing and before he knew it they were just cracking each other up having a blast! The funniest things will make little girls laugh, won't they?? I love it!!!!
Okay so I was going to post some pics since I am on David's laptop, but I can get them to I'll try to get him to help me figure it out tonight.

Bye for now...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Pictures... I just had to upload a few pics of the munchkins...hope you enjoy them!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

We're making progress now!!

Okay, so I was sitting on my bed folding towels. Lili was playing with some toys next to me and she says, "Mama?" I thought...GREAT...more "I did it"...don't know how much more I can take of "I did it". So I swallowed and said, "Yes, Lili" trying to sound excited. Then she totally floored me...she said, "Where Daddy?" It took me a second to realize that she said something different and when I did, I almost fell off the bed!!!! I yanked her up and ran outside to where Daddy and Aly were planting. I just couldn't believe it!!!! you're thinking...Huh?? Well, Lili has just turned 18 months and we are so happy that she is catching up to her chronological age. This is big...she is starting to put words together and make a bit of sense!! WHOO HOOOO!!!!!
Okay...well, back to folding towels

Happy Thursday Well, it is another crazy day around here. We are trying to get everything together to get out of town either late tonight or early tomorrow morning to get down to South Carolina. David's Mom is very very sick and we don't know how much longer she will be with us, but not much is going right to expidite our leaving. The AC died on our car last week as David was coming back home from SC. We thought it was something minor, but now we have had the whole system evacuated, and some switch replaced and it still won't work. ARGH!!!!! So, David is running around all over trying to find someone who can find out what it wrong and fix it today. It is so hot out and the thought of driving 8 hours with two little ones and a dog without AC just does NOT make me one bit excited!!!Please pray for us and that this will all be resolved quickly and CHEAPLY!!!!The girls are, of course, oblivious to anything that is going on. They are so funny!! All Aly wants to do is go play in the front yard and Lili is sleeping in the pack n play (read: screaming and throwing things out of the pack n play while yelling "MAMMA" at the top of her lungs)She is so very different at 18 months than was Aly. She is still very very much a baby, where as Aly was already a 30 yr old when we got her at 12 months!! I have enjoyed having a baby this time for the most part. I didn't get to experience it the first time.Lili has started this thing...we do it about 500 x per day!!! She says, 'Mama?" I say "Yes, Lili" she says, "I did it!" I say, "You did?"she says, "Yeeeessssss"I say, "I'm so very proud of you!!"she just smiles and laughs with delight. We have no idea what she actually did, but she is awefully proud of whatever it is!!!! :-)

added later...
Well the AC is fixed!!!!!!!!!!! Don't know what it was...don't's COLD!!!!!!!! WHOOO HOOOO. Anyway...don't know when we are heading to SC, but I'll post when we get back.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Here we go...

Have we really been home with our precious Liliana for almost 6 months?? How is that even possible? It was just yesterday that we were starting our paperchase for her (that was in July of 2005) and now we are a family of four! If I even told you all that we have endured since we came home with Aly in Jan of 2005 you would think it was some crazy work of fiction!! Suffice it to say that God has some wild sense of humor and the Swindler family is living proof of it. :-) The book...NOT in the works!!

Which brings me back to why I am here...

I have tried so many times to keep a journal. I have tons of them...half written...all over the place. I never seem to stay with it long. DH tells me that you always make time for what you want to make time for...but it doesn't seem to hold true in this case...or maybe it does as I never seem to give up at least trying to journal!! I am...again...trying to make it stick. I figured that the ole' pen and paper routine wasn't working, so I am giving the blogging world a whirl!

I really want a place to keep up with all of the adventures of my two little "wild noodles". I hope that whomever is reading this will enjoy the journey of our lives and that of our children.

Thank you for coming along for the ride!!!

In HIS Mighty Grip