Our American Family
Welcome to our website!!
Our New Home
The Dominican Republic (May '07)
If you wish to use our photos please ask, link them to your own website and give us credit.
*Click for a Video of Atticus/Aiden(New Jan 23)*
I have noticed some of the photos are the site are out place, hopefully I will fix it...when time allows(HAHA)
Most of the pictues below are from Manila, some from stay in VA and then our R&R in '05
Christmas 2006/ Easter 2006 / Bohol May 2006 / Iloilo 2006/ Christmas 2005/ Marine Ball 2005/ New Addition Sept 2005 / Summer '05 / Enchanted Kingdom / Luau / Photo's by the Kids / Easter 2005/ Baguio / Orchidarium and Butterfly pavilion /Atticus and Aiden comparing /Atticus 3m-14m /Aiden's & Atticus's First Year/ Atticus / Atticus Richard Taylor/ Dinagyang in Iloilo Photos /Photo's 10/04-5/06 / Corregidor / House Photos / Fun facts about the kids
We made it to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, I wish I could say without issue but alas that isnít the case. I guess with a family of 6 moving is never without issue. However we are safe if not quite sound and in what will be our home for the next 2yrs. I think we are all pleased with our new home. My first take on it is a great house but I donít care to be the one to mop the floors and it appears they will need it frequently by the looks of everyoneís bare feet last night. Aiden had guessed it would be yellow, I think because our house in Manila was and he was right. It is a paler yellow but yellow none the less. Abby and AJ have their own bedroom and bathroom, Atticus and Aiden will be sharing a bedroom and bath and then Matt and I have ours. Our bath and closets are a bit of a maze, which I like and donít like. From the bedroom there is a small what could be a sitting area, then an area with the sink, to the right of that is the bath and toilet room and straight ahead from the sink area is 2 walk in closet areas. After the apartment with nothing more than a few steps away, going from the wash area up to our closets is a trip. In case I donít get pictures up quickly a brief description of our house; upstairs are the four bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a sitting area at the top of the stairs: downstairs a sitting area, dining room, kitchen, dirty kitchen, laundry area, office, family room and a covered but not glassed in ďpoker areaĒ. The floors are all tile or marble, (YEAH!!!) not even area rugs to ruin and great floors for potty training a 2y boy. Our house is at the end of a cul-de-sac, in a gated residence with 13 other houses, so it seems a safe place for the kids to play. Speaking of playing we donít have much of a yard but after Manila it is a fair size yard. We have plenty of space to play four square, toss a ball around though maybe not enough for a good game of tag.
The boys and I ventured out. It was a bit intimidating as I know next to no Spanish. It was just a short walk, I thought there was a pharmacy on the corner a block away but it didnít appear to be so when we got there. There is a plaza across the street from what I thought was a pharmacy and further up a bit a ďgrocery storeĒ (AJ wasnít so sure it should qualify for that as it was smaller than most 7Elevenís), there is a pizza place that delivers, a bakery, dry cleaners and even a GNC. AJ was up for the walk until somebody spoke to us in Spanish, then he wanted to go home but I dragged him into the grocery store where we bought Gatorade and baby wipes.
I find it a bit odd that we have had 2 yellow houses in a row, as when Abby was much younger 4ish, she talked about her life with her other mommy in a yellow house. I wish I could remember more of the conversations, I do know it was her other mommy before me and that, that mommy was gone now.
In kids news Aidenís fever seems to have gone away overnight but his nose has started and Atticus had a fever last night it was low at least and I will just have to keep a real close watch on him.
It's our final day in the states before going on to our new home. I can't wait, I am so ready to be settled in our own home with beds for the boys. (I can hope they will use them) I wish I could say all was well here but Aiden is running a fever, gets up to 103, if I don't keep a watch on him. I am happy that nothing else seems to be the matter. Hopefully he won't break out in some strange rash tomorrow morning on the way to the airport. As well I would rather he didn't share what ever it is with his little brother. Sharing is good but there are a few exceptions and this is one. I haven't had to deal with fevers and Atticus since he had his seizure last December. So what to do on last day here, I think we are going to the movies to see Pirates of the Caribbean III and the grilling after with some swimming in my BIL's pool.
We are in Florida. We survived pack out with out issue. The trip to Connecticut went well and it was great to see our family(Aunt Jenny, Uncle George, Aunt Angie, Uncle Dino and David). The came the trip to Florida that we survived however it was not without issues. It started about a hour into our trip, Atticus threw up, thankfully he was fine the rest of the day. Then you know the pieces of tire you see beside the road, we left some too or Matt did. It started with the van shaking so we pulled off at the exit but there was no service station and nothing looked bad, so back on the road but not slow. Just a little bit up the road next thing I see are pieces of tire coming at me from the van Matt was driving. He did a great job pulling over without causing harm to anyone or himself and the though the tire wasn't good, it was good enough to limp it to the next exit. There was no place right there to do anything with the tire situation but just a bit up the road was a Goodyear so we limped it up the road and bought 2 new tires. As I was pulling away one of the workmen there stopped me and the new van's tire needed air. I had hoped that would do us until we got to Florida, but alas it did not. We put air in it a couple of times as well as fix a flat. Matt is off this morning seeing what's with the tire. He even took the flat tire off and put the donut on.
Matt's brother and sister-in-law, have recently put a pool in and the kids (AJ, Aiden, cousin Sydney) were in it this morning, even if it was a bit cool. I am hoping for a bit of relaxing before traveling again. Will see how the relaxing goes with having the pool out back and Atticus. Aiden I feel Ok with by the pool as he is afraid of getting his face wet so he is careful. Atticus who knows what he might do and he still trips so much, that he will need a close eye kept on him.
Time is just flying by here. Our pack out is tomorrow and then Sunday we are going on to Connecticut for a couple of days, then back here for a dayish before driving down to Florida. Where we will visit for a bit and leave our old van, then off to our new home in Santo Domingo. We did have to get a new van for Santo Domingo, Dominican law states that vehicles must not be older than 5 years. We bought a Chevy Uplander, it has the space we need and the kids got the DVD player they wanted all with being in our price range.
A litte belated but Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. Hope everyone was nice to there mom on Mother's day. (((Hugs))) for all those who were missing there mom's and for those who were missing there kids on Mother's Day. My kids did a good job being good that day. Atticus woke me up early so we could go to the early mass before I worked my last breakfast here. Abby and AJ bought me a yankee gift card with their hard earned money and then AJ made supper with a bit of dad's help.
The kids are all doing well and I think Ok with the move. Aiden and AJ I think will have the hardest time leaving friends but they will make new ones quickly I hope.
Life is moving along here. We are 2 weeks from our pack out and a little over 3 weeks from when we arrive in The Dominican Republic. I am still a bit excited about going but now that the time is rapidly approaching I am getting a bit nervous. Just because it seems as if there is still a lot to get done here and then the whole setting up a new house in a new country. Thankfully we will have a family sponsor there to help point us in the right direction on shopping and the like. I think the sponsor program is such a great thing, they have a bit of food in your house when you arrive and show you the ropes. Along with going to a new country it means leaving the home we have, granted it has only been our home for 6 months. There are a few things we won't miss, like the lack of space. However there are things we will miss the friends we've made, the playground, tennis court and sandbox right outside our door. It is so nice to have AJ take Aiden out, they play for hours on end outside. Atticus doesn't like to be left behind so he and I go out a lot as well. Then there is the fact that Target is maybe a mile away with Safeway right there as well. I think the kids will miss the activities they have going on here the Sunday brunch, Kids Power Hour, the free Tennis lessons. There are things to look forward to with the move, the Beach, new friends, new activities and finding new places to shop can be fun.
As for the kids they are doing well. Atticus is at such a fun stage with the new words popping out daily. One of my favorites at the moment is supper, but he says it more like suppah. That is one I will miss when he starts saying it like the rest of us. He is also a bit confused on who "Meme" is, that is his nickname but he frequently refers to Aiden as "meme". He will also out of nowhere say "I won" or "I win" with the action of bringing his arm and fist down. I am really in Love with him, though I could do without the hair pulling he does. As for new with Aiden we are looking into getting him an augmentative communication device, a little computer that will talk for him with him choosing the words by pushing buttons. It appears it will be a few months before that can happen as he needs to be tested to see what device will work best for him. Abby and AJ are doing fine, happy to be done with school for this school year.
I guess it is AJ update time. He is doing great and is loving being a "teen". He did have to share his birthday with Easter this year which was a bit of a bummer for him, oh well. He got a camcorder for his birthday and is learning to use it. Time will tell if anything worth watching comes for it, but he is having fun and does have some ideas for movies to make. He is officially taller than me and has been for a few months now. I think by measurements it was 2 inches, which he doesn't mind reminding me of. At least I have Aiden and Atticus who haven't passed me up, though I am sure their day will come. AJ got to dress up as the Easter bunny for yea you guessed it Easter. They had an egg hunt here and needed a bunny, AJ was more than willing to take part. I must say he did a great job. I recently learned there is at least one little girl that has her picture with the Easter bunny framed and by her bed, she knew who the bunny was. There are quite a few young ones who LOVE to play with AJ. He is so good with the younger kids. He doesn't mind playing with them, I am not sure most 13y boys would care to be bothered with a bunch of 6,7&8y olds. Maybe being a big brother to Aiden has taught AJ patience with kids which is a great thing for a boy who will someday be a man to have. I think if there were any boy that would teach you the need for patience Aiden would top the list.
As for Abby, she is doing just fine. We thought we were done with our school work for the year. However when the desktop crashed and the Geek Squad couldn't save anything off the hard drive, we learned a lesson. As well Abby gets to do a few reports over again. She was just thrilled at the prospect of writing a couple of more papers. Abby has started up with tennis, which I hope will get her out of the house a bit more. Where AJ loves to be out and about, Abby is content doing her own thing at home. I see nothing wrong with that so much as I think exercise is important and I think she will like it once she gets going.
It is another beautiful day here. AJ and Aiden have been outside for a couple of hours already but Atticus is just waking from his nap now. Guess it is time for us to go enjoy some sun and sand.
The weather this weekend has been gorgeous, so we spent some time outside. I bought tennis rackets for the kids as there are free tennis lesson here once a week and free use of the courts. Atticus swings his like a golf club, same thing with his baseball bat. Well the bat if you pitch to him he will swing in the air but often he would rather sit the ball on the ground and swing. We managed to wash the van in was long over due and hopefully it will look a bit better. The boys played in the sand pit (otherwise known as the volley ball court) and we grilled Sat and Sunday, yum!!
Since the site has been down 2 boys have had a birthday. Atticus turned 2 and AJ is finally a teen. I find it hard to believe I have two teens, how did that happen when I am barely out of my teens. AJ is a great big brother, as for being a teen he is a great kid. That isn't to say he doesn't have his moments but they are so rare that they are easily forgiven and forgotten. He tolerates the fact that Aiden bases all of his decisions on what AJ is doing, not easy having your 5y little brother follow you around everywhere. Atticus will soon be doing that to I am sure. He learned to say AJ or as both little boys say it "AA". We were in the van when he said it and he continued to say it over and over just so AJ would say "what?" Atticus's words are coming along nicely I think. He can repeat ,when he wants to that is, which is of course something I really wanted to hear. He still does lots of babble which is cute. He will go on and on and on in his baby talk and then when he say "Is that true?" His reply "mmm NO". Yes is still not a word he uses, he either says No and means yes or more often will reply with "ok" or "I'll right"
On to Aiden he is doing great in school, we will miss his teachers and friends when we go. They do really good with Aiden. He participates with all the class activities and will do the seat work or testing without needing deals made. Getting to the bus isn't always his favorite thing but if we either take Atticus and the baby I am watching or I offer him a piggy back ride he is more than happy to go. He really likes it once he is there, even art is OK now. As for his expressive speech he is able to imitate a bit better on some words. He still needs cues and often approximation of the words but he is working on some phrases like "play with me". Most importantly he likes his ST and really likes to go, we will miss her too. She has made speech therapy something he likes, that was a huge step for us.
Guess who is calling...my time is up, Abby and AJ update will have to wait.
Well maybe just maybe we are back up and running. The desktop went down and I didn't have the program I have been using to get it going on the laptop. Matt, with the help of a friend (Susan) got us up and running again.
I have been hugging my kids a bit tighter, spending a bit more time with them or trying to. This week Zayne, our cousin, went home to live with God. For those who don't know him, he was a great boy and full of fun. With all he has been through he was a trooper and happy with life. He had a lung transplant almost 2y ago, that gave him a bit more time here with his family. In his passing he was able to help others by donating his eyes and parts of his heart. I am sure those families feel blessed as Zayne's families was by the family that made the choice to donate their child's lungs. I have been feeling very lucky to have my four kids, here with me and doing well. There are days that Aiden tries my patience, but he is mine and I wouldn't change that.