Thursday, December 31, 2009
Dear Low Low,
So much going on with your family! You a have a big sister, two big brothers, 3 dogs, and horses! Remember last year I told you that you Mom was a professional mommy....I wasn't kidding was I! There is nothing she takes more seriously than her life as a mom. She hugs you and kisses every day. Your mom and daddy will always love you and keep you safe; they have whispered this promise to you many times. Your sister and brothers are teaching you so many new things. Everyone is so happy that you are finally home with them!!
Your mom has fought long and hard to bring you home sweet baby girl. Remember that there is nothing that your mom can't do! I believe that you and your mommy are kindred spirits....You both are strong and determined.
Love Mommy’s Friend,
What a strong and determined Mom you have! She is so smart and funny. She will show you that there is nothing that you can’t do once you put your mind to it! Waiting for you was hard, but your Mom will tell you that you were well worth the wait!! . Don't you just love your home! Your playroom is pretty cool! Your Mom did that just for you! She has a generous heart. She will always love you and you will always be the most important person in her life.
Sweet Claire now you know the love that your mommy has been keeping just for you. No longer will you have to wait for hugs and kisses....your mommy will always be there to keep you safe and to be sure that you know every minute of every day that you are precious.
Love Mommy’s Friend,
Dear Polar Cub,
This letter is one of the hardest for me to write. I have seen the tears in your Mom’s eyes. She loves you so much and aches to hold you. She is going to be such a great mom. She is kind and will teach you so many things. She has waited such a long time to be your mommy! She will read you stories, she will act silly and make Christmas cookies with you every year. She will teach you to be strong and believe in yourself. She will love you always; I have seen it in her eyes.
Your mommy is such a good friend. She has never stop loving or dreaming about you. The moment you are placed in your loving mommy's arms we will all be crying tears of happiness!
Guess what Polar Cub? She will be there very soon to bring you home! This is one baby announcement I can't wait to see!!!
Love Mommy’s Friend,
Your family has waited so long for you! What a perfect match God has made by placing you in the arms of this fun loving family! I could tell from your smiling picture that you and your new family were going to be perfect! Your mom will love you always, she has loved you for such a long time already and every time she holds you all you need to do is look into her eyes to see that this is true. Her love for you is endless and she will always be there to hold you and keep you safe, but more importantly to remind you that you are loved.
Love Mommy’s Friend,
Dear Gracie Mae,
What fun you are going to have with your Mommy and Daddy! Your home is filled with love, music and lots of laughter. Your mommy will teach to love unconditionally, because little Gracie that is how she loves you. She will show you that you can be strong and still cry. She will sing you songs, read you stories, play dress up and shower you with hugs and kisses. She will love and treasure you always.
Mommy and Daddy have a big surprise for you when you get home! You have a big sister named Georgia! Isn't that exciting!! Your big sister will teach lots of things! You will have so much fun together.
Love Mommy’s Friend,
I wasn't kidding when I told you to be prepared to have your picture taken! Your Mom can’t help but capture beauty around her, and you, Ellis you have added so much beauty to your Mommy’s life. She has shown you that love is boundless by how much she loves and cares for her patients, friends and pets. She will continue to show you the simple yet amazing things all around. She will love you forever, she has promised that in her heart.
Your mommy has waited patiently and sometimes not so patiently to hold you Ellis. She has prepared a beautiful room for you! Your mom is amazing and not only does she capture the beauty of the world around her with her camera, she recognizes the beauty in everything and everyone. She has a kind and giving heart. I am lucky to call her my friend. She has so much to share with you.....
Love Mommy’s Friend,
And last but not least I wish all of you a Happy New Year! I hope and pray that this is the year that your daughters come home to the love that waits for them in each of your hearts.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Christmas even cookie making
Christmas 2009 was fantastic. As Ben and Hannah get older it gets harder and more expensive to find them something for Christmas. This year I was able to score a Bl@ck Friday netbook for Hannah which she luuuurvs and was totally surprised, and a l@ptop for Ben. Chris has also entered the realm of "good gracious does he really need another shirt or sweater???" so he got a new computer too! It is official I have the crappiest computer in the house:) Guess I know what I will be getting next year! Santa brought Sophie lots of stickers,paper, crayons and puzzles. She was so cute in the morning ( and I am happy to report that she slept until 8:00) . She went to get Chris out of bed and told him " wake up daddy Santa was here!" in just the cutest sweet little voice! After she opened up the gifts in her stocking she thought that was it! When I told her that Santa left her more presents under the tree she looked confused.....but quickly got over it and was ripping through gifts like a pro! Another Christmas bonus this year was that my Mom was here to celebrate with us and witness all the craziness that makes the holiday fun at our house!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sophie's referral picture June '07
With the wait getting longer I wanted to talk to all you waiting families about special needs adoptions. First let me say that it is perfectly ok to consider adopting a special needs child because the wait has become insanely long. There I said it. Do I think that should be the only reason, certainly not, but if the wait has given you pause to consider a child with a special need …..Why not! In some ways I think that the wait has been the best thing for children in China who will NOT be adopted domestically because of a special need. More families around the world have opened their hearts to children with various special needs. Many of these children may not have found their family had the wait stayed at 8-9 months. We were added to our agency waiting family list one month after our LID backing ’06. The climbing wait definitely was a factor, but it was also something that we had talked about and gone back and forth discussing. I can’t imagine not having our Sophie. If the wait had been shorter this crazy, funny, smart and loving girl would not be sleeping next to me. Sophie was on another agency list back in December of last year. Her information was posted several times on the WC yahoo board. Unfortunately she had to wait longer for us to find her and bring her home, and I hate that. But I am grateful that we found each other. Her file was sent back to the CCAA in January ’07 and in June her file was sent to our agency.
Only you can decide what special needs you can handle. Only you know if you would be able to handle the costs of surgeries and therapy if that is needed. We carefully considered each special need on our agency list, and were honest about what we could handle as a family and as parents. We considered Sophie’s special need to be manageable for our family. It has not been easy, but it certainly has not been harder than we expected. Her prognosis for a long and healthy life is excellent.
Love without Boundaries has produced an informational CD about the various special needs most commonly found in China adoptions. The disc is $10 and once LWB gets their site up again you should be able to order the disc.
Adoption like birth provides no guarantees. If you feel the tug of your agency special needs program, take a chance….you may just find your daughter.
Sophie’s special need was us; our special need was Sophie
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
I should add with a few sucky months thrown in to keep it "real":) I added the year so as you were laughing hysterically at the sheer volume of my up do you could take in to consideration that it was 1993 in Western Massachusetts....which really means it was closer to the fabulous 80's. Check out Chris weighing more than he does now and with hair! I am going to throw in some bullets because I am exhausted and I don't want to worry about grammar etc.
- Chris and I actually have 2 anniversaries. We got married by the JP on July 15, 1993 so I could add Chris to my insurance. He was just starting his company and was diagnosed with caratus conos (I wrote that phonetically cuz I have no idea how to spell it)
- When I told my Dad that we were going to be getting married sooner because of Chris' diagnosis. His response..." You are marrying an unemployed blind guy??? Do you want a seeing eye dog for a wedding gift??" It still makes me laugh. Not nice. But funny all the same.
- Our first wedding was a secret. Only our parents and siblings knew.
- This was probably a good thing because I was nice and calm the day of our wedding in November.
- Our family needed something to celebrate. My maternal grandfather passed away at the beginning of the week right before our wedding.
- That made things insane for my Mom. She doesn't really remember much about our wedding.
- Lots of people I know that have been married around the same amount of time Chris and I have been married are divorcing or separating....freaks me out a little. I want to shake them and remind them that there was a time that they thought their spouse hung the moon......
- I don't know anyone married more than 10 years that hasn't had some sucky marital months to work through....us included.
Chris and I are heading out for some Thai food tonight. No kids. Just some yummy food , beer and uninterrupted conversation. I love this man dearly. He is the my perfect match. He loves me and he makes me laugh every day....he is my dream.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Hannah as "willow the tree-hugging hippie
Our little "queen bee" Sophie
Heather, Calvin and Hobbs, and Sleeping Beauty.
Sophie and Sleeping Beauty.
Whew! We just got back in to town. We left at 6:00am Saturday morning for a lax tournament about an 1.5 hours from our house. We made plans with friends in the area to trick or treat. We had a great time but we are all seriously exhausted!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips ( optional. Use if you want to make a "lava cake")
small splash of vanilla
Add the dry ingredients to a microwave safe coffee mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix again. Put mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high power ( 1,000 watts) The cake will rise over the top of the mug. Allow to cook and tip out onto a plate.
Hannah hopped over to Lisa's blog and made her buttercream frosting less the mint. I had a little bite ( that is all Hannah would give me:) and it wasn't bad.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I admit to stealing the "Princess Mafia" tag from Maia. The picture above was taken from this site. Even when Hannah was little we didn't get sucked in to the D*sney Princess stuff. We went to the PARK when Hannah was in first grade and she was more interested in M*ckey Mouse than the mafia. We did go to the castle for breakfast and all the girls where there except for the girl who is "supposed" to live there! Fine with us, we were more disappointed that M*lan wasn't included in the characters joining us for breakfast.... Apparently she isn't "princess" material. Figures since long before our journey to China began M*lan was the d*sney character Hannah and I liked most!
Lots of girls like to dress up ( Hannah always did and Soph is now starting to enjoy the dress up box).....to many it is just part of the gig of being a kid. Our dress up box has fancy dresses to pirate hats. Pretending to be a princess or a pirate for that matter is an important part of child play, but I really do have to question the marketing push of the princess mafia. They are everywhere...and lets be honest the marketing is cheesy. Pink sweatsuits with the mafia on the back. There are cuter outfits out there!
I am not anti-princess. I guess I am anti-D*sney Princess. I know that there are better Princess characters out there for our girls to pretend to be and admire.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Check out Miss Vivi Jo! The girl has mad style!! Her mom,Kim, Vivi jo's "stylist" is having a give away on her blog. Kim will be giving away a custom made dress from this etsy artist. So scoot on over and check out Miss Vivi Jo's fashions and enter to watch me win this cute dress for Sophie:) While you are drooling over the super cuteness of Vivi Jo I should warn you that she has a super cute little brother Max who will just melt your heart! Max is one cute little guy who is also one of Sophie's Datong brothers! Max met his family about a week after we met Sophie. Maybe we will have some more Datong luck and Sophie will win a new dress!!!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I have been watching the documentary Adopted. It is a powerful film that every person no matter where they are in the adoption process should watch. The film makers have also included another DVD that discusses many issues and challenges that families face when adopting. The "we can do better" series begins at what motivates people to adopt. This was a powerful piece, in essence we adopt for selfish reasons. I want a daughter, I want more children,I want to be a mother. We often read about adoption beginning in loss...our children lose their birth families, birth culture etc., but I have never really heard adoption discussed as something selfish. Not necessarily in a negative way, but in a honest way. There is lots for us to talk about in the adoption community that for whatever reason we refuse to face. I isn't as clean and tidy as you thought it would be...is it??
Quote from the movie Adopted " You only got her because she was abandoned...."
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sophie's name is special in many ways. We chose Sophia really just because we liked it. Its a grown up name and Sophie is a cute little girls name. It worked and we all liked. Sophie's middle name is June. June was Chris' grandmothers' name. Hannah has my grandmothers name, Mae. So we have a Hannah Mae, and a Sophia June...Mae and June:) plus our family last name. We kept Sophie's Chinese name. We kept her name because in essence that is all she had when she came to us. Names bind us to our family, our nationality , to our history......I hope that Sophie feels that we were able to provide her with all those things when we chose her name as well as when we decided to keep her Chinese name. I love this book. I think it must sum up how an child who has been adopted must feel about "names".
Here are so more detailed post on how important a name can be for a child who was adopted here and here and here
Thursday, October 8, 2009
(Update: Fixed my typos. Sorry...it was an early morning post:)
Go visit Malinda
O Solo Mama
They both have tons of links to other blogs and resources. Good stuff
Saturday, October 3, 2009
What to celebrate how to celebrate....these were the some of the things that Chris and I talked about before bringing Sophie home. We decided to integrate the Mid Autumn festival and Chinese New Year in to our family celebrations. We are not going to pretend that we celebrate these festivals accurately but we bring bits and pieces in to our family traditions. So along with hiding Easter Baskets (Chris' family tradition) , leaving out wooden shoes for St.Nicholas (my family tradition) and celebrating Mid Autumn festival and CNY we are a family with lots of celebrations all year long!!
Sophie brought mooncakes and a moon festival book to school today to share with her friends. We made this recipe below and added some powdered sugar for added fun:)
1. 1 Can Pillsbury "Grand rounds" refrigerated biscuits
2. Strawberry preserves (do not use jelly)
3. 1 egg
Here is what to do:
1. Wash your hands
2. Open and separate biscuits.
3. Working on a floured surface, press the biscuits flat into 3 inch circles, leaving the middle a little thicker then the edges.
4. Put a teaspoon of preserves into the center of each biscuit.
5. Pull the edges up over the filling and squeeze them together to seal. Make sure they're well sealed or the filling will leak out!
6. Roll the biscuits into balls and put them 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet with the crimped side down.
7. Flatten them down gently with your hand until they're about 1/2 inch thick.
8. Beat the egg with one tablespoon water, just until it is mixed. ( I left this off due to a friend in Soph's class having a egg allergy)
9 Brush the mooncakes with the egg mixture.
10. Bake as directed on the package or until golden brown.
11. Put on racks to cool when done.
12. When cooled toss mooncakes in a gallon ziplock bag with some powdered sugar.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Italian Stuffed Chicken Breasts. (serve with a side of pasta,garlic bread and a salad)
6 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
dry Italian seasoning
6 mozzarella/string cheese sticks
6 thin slices of prosciutto ham
Flatten chicken breast to 1/8 of an inch. Season with salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning. Wrap each mozzarella stick with 1 slice of prosciutto. Place wrapped mozzarella stick in the center of each chicken breast. Roll chicken breast around filling. Wrap each chicken breast individually in plastic wrap. Freeze in a freezer bag. ( nope no cooking)
Thaw completely. Unwrap chicken breast and place close together in a baking dish. Baste with 4 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with a little bit of italian seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes basting every 15-20 minutes. Do not over bake or chicken will be tough. Bake until juices run clear.
While chicken is finishing up cook pasta and heat sauce.
Serve chicken with sauce on top and a side of pasta.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
- School is going well. It is stressfull ,so much to do and so little time.
- Sophie is doing GREAT! The first few days of pre-school drop off were difficult for her and daddy, but each day it got better. She only cried the first three days. I would say that was "typical" three year old transition behavior.
- The only side effect I noticed last week was Sophie trying to control EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. This week that behavior has subsided.
- The news of the loss of Lavender this week hit me hard. I did not realize she had passed away, and worse her mother is now charged with her murder. Lavender was from the same orphanage as Sophie. Please go to her memorial site . You can read about the arrest of her mother here. Breaks my heart.
- Lots of young babies this time around. Referral posts never get old. I love them!
- My last post inspired her. I love being an inspiration to my friends...*snort* ( I bought the cookbook my sister told me to get PM we can snuggle around the fire in October and read it together.....such fun:)
- I am posting this especially for her.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It has hit my like a ton of bricks...I have a freshman in high school. Seriously he was just in kindergarten!! It is true those middle school years fly by...
Hannah is in 7th grade. We are carpooling with a boy in her grade. I asked her today if they talked walking into school...."mom, noooo we did not talk" insert eye rolling and crossed middle school girl arms!
Sophie started K3 today. We changed from a daycare setting to a more "academic" day. Chris had to pry her ever lovin' hands off of him when he dropped her off...but she only cried for 5 minutes then enjoyed the rest of her day.
My first day of school was uneventful. I was only able to pull one student today but I will be pulling kids to assess the rest of the week. I am excited to be 1.6 miles from my house and know that I have a strong purpose for being at this school. It isn't going to be easy. There will be lots of changes and I will be working hard to establish the special education department as a department that works equally as hard as our general ed counterparts. This of course will require ALL members of the EC team to work and serve children.
One of my favorite quotes from my old school is "Teaching ALL children to MY fullest potential" My teacher readers will really appreciate the power in that quote. I put it on my board as a reminder to myself and to those who don't know me!
Hope everyone has a great school year...did you know that I have a freakin' freshman in high school. To quote a good friend, " I need a rum"
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This post has nothing to do with my 3 words except to mention and thank T for giving me a bead to add to my Pandora. I was going to wait to get Hannah started on her bracelet in December when she turns 13 years old. Buuuut when my mom was here she was sporting her Pandora and so was my niece Lillian, so Oma got Hannah started a little early.
Soon as summer break ends it is "GAME ON!" All three of my kids head back to school this week. I am kind of sorta looking forward to some routine around here...kind of:) I am going to try preparing parts of my meals for the week to help save prep time. This weekend I did a menu and checked to be sure I had everything I needed then headed to the grocery store with my list and coupons ( I suck at using coupons. I did save a whopping $5 today tho) Also I usually don't shop with a list. I buy the same stuff every week...but this week with my list I spent $70 dollars less! Ok...then I went to costco and spent the $70 I didn't spend at the grocery store, but I won't have to go back to costco for 2 weeks. I am trying to keep our food bill to what you would pay monthly for a small used car, but it is hard! I don't have time to go store to store and well I try to use the coupons, but usually there aren't any coupons for what I need anyway. I do have to admit that going with a list helped.
Once school starts the running from place to place starts. Thankfully the only person I have to run to practice in the fall is Hannah. Unfortunately Hannah will have soccer games Saturdays and Sundays and Ben will have lacrosse on Saturday and Sundays. I am dying to find out how my housework is going to get done and who the heck will be going to the grocery store!
Happy Back To School!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
* First week back to school/work.
* That means getting up early.
* Apparently Sophie knew about that and decided to help me out, and has been up at
3:30am all week. She goes back to sleep but she is flippin' and floppin'
* I am trying to create a special education "team" at my new school.
* Some people don't like playing on a team.
* We were hoping to grow our family by one...but it wasn't meant to be.Makes me sad.
* Sophie got sprung by her attachment therapist. Makes me happy. We will keep in touch with him and go see him as needed, but I think she's good.
* I freakin' love Bravo TV...which makes going to be early kind of hard.
* Being on vacation for 8 weeks makes going back to work really really hard.
* Time to start running ( again, again and again) to help relieve stress or I will drive my husband crazy with my b*tchin'
Monday, August 17, 2009
* Just got back from visiting Pug mama and the family this weekend. T and Eme also made the trip and as always we had a great time! We laughed, we ate yummy gumbo and kabobs....but the best part of all was seeing our three beautiful daughters from China sitting together, running together and just having a good ol' time. I missing low low and Sophie running around with Eme bear crawling right behind them!
* I start back to work this week. Lots of staff meetings and getting ready for kids to come back to school. I have been at school all summer working on my room, and trying to figure out sped files. I am starting at a new school 1.6 miles from my house. It is a very good school, and when Sophie starts kindergarten in 2 years she will be able to come to school with me! I am leaving a school that I loved, but I was just tired of driving 45 minutes a day. I could never run over to school and when my kids had something right after school I was like a bat out of hell trying to get home in time. I will miss everyone, but I am excited to be starting something new. For the first time I will be working with 4th and 5th graders. I know I will miss my little ones, but it will be fun to do new things!
* Ben starts high school next week, Hannah is heading to 7th grade and Sophie is going to a new pre-k. I am tired from just writing that. Oh did I mention while I was sipping drinks poolside at PM's house I should have been shopping for school supplies. Guess we will be doing that sometime this week:)
* It's going to be a busy week, but I am looking forward (kind of) to getting back on a schedule.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
We had a fantastic time at the beach. This year my Mom (Oma) and my niece Lillian joined us for lots of sun and sand. The sun part was an important part since they are visiting for New England, and well I don't think the sun has been out much this summer! We swam in the warm NC waves, toured Ft.Macon, walked the historical sites in Beaufort and ate lots of delicious NC shrimp! This summer Sophie let the water from the waves touch her toes, but I think she is like her big sister.....I have two "chlorine girls" on my hands! More pics later!