Monday, June 29, 2009

Another birthday....another baby that has transitioned into a little boy....

Seems only yesterday that you were this one year old little guy! Shy and timid...sweet and silly....





And now you are 4? You at still all of those things...but now you are so much more!! You are a crazy, perfect, adventurous, loving, curious, sweet little BOY! The baby in you is gone...look out world!! Here comes Will Mongold!













Somehow....you went from that baby that worked each day in pottery land with your mommy! Chubby, calm, small....quiet.....easy.......









...to a 4 year old little man. You play video games with your brothers, you swim, you ride a bike. You can do sparklers, run fast, and build Lego's better than me! You never take no for an answer and there is no skill that you won't try! Your stick-to-it-ive-ism...is remarkable! You have shown us how capable you are of anything you put your mind too! Those big brothers will have to keep on their toes to keep little Will from passing them by in ANYTHING that they do!









Your curiosity is off the charts. You learn move in a day than most people learn in a month!









You make us all work a little extra hard to find the best activity, or the best craft to do....you make us want to learn with you!









Will, you give me a run for my money most days and some times you make me feel 10 years older than I really am. Keeping up with you is a full time job! And what I know for certain, is that your huge energy and your off the charts zest for life will create quite a remarkable young man one day! And we love you for all of these things!









I swear I can take out one crayon and a used piece of paper and you can find excitement in what you will draw in that small empty space! Never do I throw an idea out there that your arms don't reach for the sky as you yell....Yeah....that's awesome mommy!!









Your Tasmanian tantrums.....well....I guess we could do without them...but heck....without your high emotions when you are disappointed...I fear we would not get the cheers of joy when you are excited....so I'll take those crazy tantrums!!









To have your "happy face" in my life is what keeps me going on the hard days! You never let me quit!









And when you say "Mom...I love ya so much!"....it melts my heart. I have heard I love you for years....and leave it to you to take it up a notch and add the "so much" on the end! It melts me that much more! And why should I be surprised....that you have the need/ability to take everything up that one extra notch!!









We are so lucky to have your crazy little self in our lives! My love for you is so perfect! You are my Will? My Willa-mina? My Will-a-monster! Since the day I met you...I knew you were something special and unique! Keep us on our toes sprinkle face! You are our "best friend"! We love you little man!! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

what to do on a lazy Saturday....

We began our lazy Saturday with an 8:30am wake up? All four boys slept till 8:30!! It was so nice to have a few min to myself in the AM!! We were supposed to meet some friends at a water park in GA. And after much deliberation...I just decided that without Steve....I didn't think I wanted to tackle a water park alone. These are new friends and not someone that I feel like I can say...."Hey can you stay with Josh and Will while I take Ben and Kyle on that slide?" ....know what I mean? So I got online and found a park just 20 miles from us that allowed you to drive your vehicles onto the beach for the day. Cost = 3.00? No joke!



So off we went...in Daddy's jeep! Steve...are you so proud of me!! :) We drove about a half a mile on the beach till we found a place to park! So many people!


It was like tailgating at a concert...without the concert! So many nice people! We decided that as long as the tailpipe was not covered up....I could still get out!! WE were the last car standing in our first spot!! Eventually...that tide just kept coming in....and I got nervous...so we had to move in land just a bit! About 10 feet! Made me feel better!!!





The water was awesome and nice and green....the photos don't do it justice! The kids loved it!

My Dad came out after a bit and joined us!




Believe it or not...there was even an ice creme truck that drove up and down the beach! Just like the one in our old Neighborhood in VA...only with bigger tires!! :) ha ha ha



Josh tried out boogie boarding for the first time! Ben and I really worked on our skills today! We had an awesome time. I think we went further in once ride than ever before! Stars must have been aligned for us!

And when he kids got tired...they could head to the back of the jeep where we had a blanket and they could get out of the sun and play some DS!! Yeah....sorry babe....blanket didn't save your jeep from the sand blast like I had hoped! When we got home Ben asked if he could at least wash the outside of daddy's car so he was not as mad at us for the mess when he got home!! :) I assured him it was ok!! :) But he hosed the sand off the outside just in case!


Josh had a nap!



And while he slept we used the jeep doors to make a tent for some shade!


Oh...and when we got home there was a package from GG Town! Wow....great package GG....we had so much fun in my closet with the night goggles and other light up stuff. and then we went bird watching with our new "nokulars" in the back yard! GG ...you made Will's whole week!! Thank you!

The drive home through three little island just south of Amelia Island was beautiful! Wish I knew how to put the top down to better enjoy the event...but I was afraid I could not get it back on? Better safe than sorry...I say!


Fun day! The best days seem to start out as nothing...no expectations....just an open slate! And this was one of the most fun summer events thus far! Happy Saturday!! And I found another park that we can do the same thing on another little island...we'll check that out this week. Not having to walk from a parking lot with all our Sh*! ROCKS!! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How long does it take for a little China man to eat a whole bowl of Cheerios?????


One bite.....two bite.....Bite 30....Bite 999......Come on Josh eat your Cheerios's...

10 minutes Josh...then we have to go.

5 min to finish guy!

....sorry buddy...we have to go!!





We may NEVER KNOW!!!
















Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is all well that ends well???

Ok…funny story. part one. X-box is broken. The place on the island that fixed it last time….closed down? So….I call game stop to see if they can help me find a place to fix it and the man there tells me about this great guy in Jax that fixes game systems for very cheap..and that there was no one locally that would even look at an xbox 360.

So…I call this guy in jax. I tell him the prob…he says..."I know just what is wrong and I can fix it in 10 min." Good news right!!?? Well....he is one hour from my front door and I am not yet used to having to drive and hour to get to anything worth while? (except the beach!! ha ha h)

Terri was coming to babysit just to give me break and allow me to clean out the car and hit the grocery store etc. etc.…but I think….ok…I’ll just use the sitter to get this darn game box fixed.

The man - Kyle - told me it would be 30 bucks...that's a deal - last time I spent over a hundred to get it fixed...... and I needed some alone time. Who cares that it was in the car. And with that, I head down to Jax. 4:00 – Monday afternoon.

part two. Ange is getting ready to leave from their visit with us on Saturday and Zachary can’t find his favorite DS game. He was terribly sad.....Scared he would never see his game again....oh and we looked....We looked everywhere! It was just before they were getting ready to head to the airport and I felt so bad…but they had to go…and we could not find it.

I am sure you know where this is going…but back to the previous story.

I mapquest the address of Kyles business. I take 9A and get off Merril road. ( I say this only because the highway is familiar...but I have never had cause to get off this exit before...and for anyone local....they know what is coming!)

I can tell as soon as I exit that I am not in the most upscale neighborhood. And please know how much I am under exaggerating right now. NOT UPSCALE. I follow the directions…rights …lefts…further and further into the hood. I mean…where the hell am I going right. So I think…maybe this is a bad idea…it’s a game box? I'm now so very glad I don't have the kdis with me! Is my life not more important than a game box? And the answer came to me quite quickly….NO…I AM NOT! So I pressed on.

I get to the final address and it is the beat up house on cinder blocks in a terribly sketchy neighborhood. To make sure I am in the right place, I call Kyle. I ask him if he sees me out front and at that... his front door opens…yep…this is the place.

I get my phone in hand…ready to dial 911 if I need to….and head into the house. No air-conditioning? Lots of people living there. House was trashed - like nothing I have ever seen! I stood there with my sun dress, and my purple purse, looking like a deer in the headlights I am sure. Kyle takes my x-box and says…just have a seat…it’ll only take me about 10 min and I don’t want you to have to drive the whole way back here just to pick it up. Kyle was SUPER NICE and so was his mom…who got me water while I waited. Once they spoke to me...I knew I was ok! The fear was gone...phone is back in my purse!

Of course I am starting to realize that this is not an up and up business…and I have no cash. So I tell them this and I say that I will go in search of an ATM and be right back. They say OK…off I go…into the hood…lookin’ for money? After about 10 min of searching, I find a gas station that is all in bars….and it advertises….fireworks, cigars, BBQ, XXX and ATM. And as bad as the bars made me feel when I walked through the front door….the bullet proof glass and bars that were protecting the cashier – INSIDE – the store…scared me even worse.

I get my money…I leave….drive back to Kyle’s house….and he says….well Renee…I found your problem. You need to tell one of your kids that DS games to not work in the X-box! Yep…Zachary’s game was shoved in there by JOSH (I am sure) and the x-box is now fixed….I’ll send Zachary his game tomorrow….and I am alive!!

All is well that ends well...I SUPPOSE!! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yep....he is 7?!



yep....I somehow have a 7 year old? Missing teeth....sarcastic....says things like "Rock on" and "That's the bomb" and "yeah baby"...on a regular basis. He has things that happen at school, or at a friends house...etc.etc....that I don't always know about? He and Kyle have secrets that they don't share with me. He reads and writes and is better on the computer than I am. And he can HONESTLY beat me at checkers.


Ben is a wonderful boy. At 7 I can really see the begninng of growing pains. There are so many things that he is just now beginning to realize....so much that he does not understand? His awareness of life is growing so big. The other day, while watching the movie "hotel for dogs," he asked me, "What is a no kill shelter mom?" And I had to explain what "putting dogs to sleep" meant? He cried. His questions are becoming so bit and so real that one some occasions I am really left speachless and feel like I need more time to think about my answers.


He wants to be a teenager and talks about all the things he will do when he is "older". He is finally seeing passed today and knows that there is a future for him out there....a life beyond what is happening now! But at the same time, he still would rather spend time with his mommy and daddy and brothers...than anyone else in the world! He still cries when his feelings are hurt and he loves toys! 7 is the perfect age! I love it! So independent, yet so in need of his mommy! If that even makes sense!! ha ha ha


I love you Ben! Some day you will read the things that I have written about your childhood and you will laugh so hard at all that we went through as a family! But when you get to this post, I want you to know....that I love you. More than I could even begin to explain. You are my first baby, my best friend, my sanity on many days! I need you in my life to make it whole. You make my world a better place....and perfect place!

Time is a crazy thing....


































12 moths ago we moved the family to our new home in Florida. 9 months ago we saw Josh's face for the first time? 6 months ago I held Josh for the first time. That time...between our move and flying home with Josh is truly a blur? I know the kids played basketball? I know that they started in new schools....we made new friends and started a new life here in Florida? But the details of it all seems foggy. So much paperwork was done and so much preperation for our adoption....that is kind of all runs together.





And the past 6 months of adjusting with Josh...having him adjust to us....surgery.... recovery... well....that is all kind of like a blur too? In short - I have no idea where this last year has gone?





Many times, when you reach the end of a journey or a project, you think....well....that went fast....but when you recall the details of whatever you have accomplished, you can kind of see where time was spent and you can certainly find reference for the time in between the start and finish.





This time - I can not. I think about the movers coming last June 16th to deliver our things to our Florida home? And then here I am. The details in the middle are so blurry and being here - today - writing this blog....almost seems weird to me? It just can't be June 16th 2009?






This is the first year in my life thus far that I can't account for. Great things happened and we are in an Awesome place in our lives right now! Our family is whole, we are happy and healthy and everyone is growing like weeds. WE are losing teeth, speaking new words, learning our independence and truly having so much fun together! So I am VERY VERY glad that this last year happened to us. But in the end...when I am old and grey and talking to my roommate in the nursing home one day.....this is a year that I will have only two things to say about....I moved and got Josh! That simple!! :) ha ha ha ha






I hear tell that there will be more years like this one in my future. Time has a way of speeding up as life moves on! Not sure I really believed that whole heartedly until now!






Anyway...sorry for that tangent. On to the real reason for this blog: JOSH.






6 months.... a half of a year.....so much has changed for our little man and so much he has grown!







When I met Josh, he was one of the most timid children that I have ever been in contact with. I truly was not even sure how to handle it? I just mustered as much patience as I could and realized that how this all played out was not for me to decide or control...I just needed to roll with the person that Josh was and see where we landed!







Now, Josh can swim underwater, dive in waves, ride a bike, jump off a bed, slide down the tallest slide, make friends in any restaurant or park that we go to. Josh is social, talkative, silly, smart, funny, bad and an all around normal 2 year old boy. I can remember bits and pieces of our time before his real personalty let loose...but that memory is fading. It is almost like he has always been this crazy, charismatics little man! :)






Josh struggled with us, at first, with boundaries and knowing how to act, and what was ok and what was not....and truly - today....he just fits in. I don't see that look of fear or uncertainty in his eyes anymore. I'll knock on wood and say - that I NEVER see it. He walks proud and confident and his house is his castle. He can play games at chuck e cheese and then walk right away from me to another game. For the first time....I am looking for him? Imagine that....he is not searching me out every second anymore....I have to keep tabs on HIM? Heck...maybe I was better off the other way ....in some ways that is! ha ha ha






I know the next 6 months will bring great things for Josh, but I venture to guess that the changes will not be as great and as significant as they were this past 6 months. I can see him leveling off into his normal, wonderful life! And that feels good. For him...for me....for the boys....it just feels right and good!






I thank my lucky stars that the Mongolds found Josh! And from here on out....we will hardly remember our lives without him!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

for the record...

Ok...I only post this because it is truly funny! So my whole sob story about how nervous I was about being alone this summer...right? ....afraid of not being able to handle things....blah blah blah......And one of my examples was that something would go wrong at our rental house...right?

Well today I get a message on my home phone after we return from the beach...and yep...it is raining in the kitchen of our rental house in VA? Yep...huge leak...raining in the kitchen! No LIKE!!!. So I have no idea who to call...or what to do! I resort to the Chesapeake yellow pages...found a plumber (after three calls) that took pity on me...and they changed their...we need three days to get there...to ....Ok...ma'am...give us 20 min....and the problem is solved!! ha ha ha

Sometimes it only takes one fear to come true to make a person realize...I have it under control...I'm ok...I took care of it!! :) And that I could have this happen just hours after Steve's departure...well....it should really help my confidence level!!

And on top of "getting it done" today...we did the gym, pool, beach and had drinks with Tisha's awesome sister....while the kids played football on the beach for hours...even JOSH!!

I miss daddy... But "I got this"!! Here's to a new confidence level and a great day! Have a super rest of the week!!! I am sure there will be something bog worthy soon!! Love to all!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Impressive Exit

It's official. The Rhode Island is on its way to sea. The past two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and stress, and uncertainties...for both the guys and their families. When would the boat be ready...could it all get done in time? Delays, late nights, nights of not coming home at all....kids anticipating daddy's leaving, wives scared for their time alone, and sad for the husband they knew they would soon be missing. Near 200 families have gone through this time...and it all comes down to this day. There were at least 50 people on the beach watching their daddy's husbands, boyfriends and children head out to sea tonight.

After hours of waiting on the beach, and just before the sun set...we finally caught a glimpse of the tug boat that was most certainly leading the submarine out of the channel to the open water. The boat was so close to the beach as it went by that we felt like we could swim on out and say goodbye in person! The kids cheered and the boat honked for them. Each child picturing their own daddy as the person who blew that horn. And believe in their hearts that the beep was for them.

No matter how hard it is to see them go, and how stressful the time before a deployment is...it is never any less amazing...impressive...humbling...to see that boat go to sea. As we cheered and waved, we were proud, sad, excited....and most of all...in awe of the job that our men do for this country. A very spectacular feeling was shared by everyone on that beach.

Ben and Kyle cried a little as we left the beach tonight. Silent kind of crying...wiping the tear as they fell so that no one would see. When Kyle tried to talk, I could hear the lump in his throat. Josh just kept saying "Daddy home now?" And that brought tears to my eyes. How much he will learn about this life we have...but how strange and complicated it will feel this time around. And Will...well....Will just wanted to take photos? It is always his passion...and when it is about daddy's boat...the passion is at an all time high. He took over 300 photos today. And that was his way of occupying his mind. If only I had something that would take my mind off of it all!! :) Lucky ...crazy...man that Will is!! :)

As we waited for the parking lot to clear before loading up... the kids and I sat and watched the sun go down. All four of them were so impressed by the colors and how shiny the water was. The beach was empty and beautiful. Kyle's only regret was that daddy didn't get to see his first lost tooth! It came out this afternoon at the pool. So we got a quick shot of my toothless duo to send to daddy in the mail drop this July!

There is a calmness in the house now. We are sad, but ready for time to move on....ready for summer fun! Ready for time together....and awesome trips...and great friends! And we can't wait to share it all with Daddy when he gets home in just 2.5 short months!! We miss you Steve!!! But we are ok...just living life...waiting for you to come home! :)


this is Anna and Zoe. Anna is 20 weeks pregnant with baby number two!


This is Megan's baby Amelia. She waited so patiently on the beach...and only dug one big hole!


Will put down the camera only for a second to use Alex's Binoculars to see the boat even closer!






This is Kim and Andres! Happy after seeing their hubby and Daddy drive by!


A few girls around...but the posse of little men is quite overwhelming!
Here's Kyle first picture with the missing tooth!



Every person on this beach tonight was there to see the boat out!
Ben and Alex had a great time while we waited!





This was our first view of the parade!

It could not have been a more awesome view!