Monday, May 31, 2010

Remember All Those That Served/Serve

I remember.

I am thankful.

And I understand...they must come through get to us.

How could we ever come up with adequate words to thank all of you?

I am very blessed to say that this Memorial Day weekend my girls and I are enjoying daddy AT HOME and having a very lazy 4 day weekend.

What a treat.

I am so thankful!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Snapshot Saturday or The Summer That Started Out With a BANG!

It's summer! It's summer!

And MM and I have looked forward to this for a month (or more)! Songbird? Not so much. Many of her friends are Seniors and have now graduated. She was very very sad to see them go.
But I must say I belong to the class of mom's that LOVES having her kids home all summer.

So I was in for a shock. I shouldn't have been - but MM was sooooo looking forward to school being out that I wasn't on top of my game.

When I picked MM up from the bus stop she was all smiles and we skipped home. I was in the middle of making a side for a picnic so she went her way and I went back into the kitchen. But, about 10 minutes later I realize she has not asked me for a drink, already bounced out into the back yard or bothered me in any way. And the tv wasn't on. Where is she? Did she sneak out the front door or something???

So I go in search of.

And find the biggest crying, wailing, snot covered, tear soaked, wounded animal sounding mess you ever did see.


So of course I go in and try to find out what is going on.

She misses Mrs. B.

30 minutes into vacation and she's over the top missing the teacher. Wow. And then it comes out about missing Bones also, etc. ect. (And yes, I've had another child that went through a form of this but it just does not compare to the despair and depth of feeling poring off of my little mouse.)

This poor kid. When you say goodbye people disappear forever. I should have seen this coming. After all, even though she was a baby when we got her, those first two times she lost everyone she knew - they had scarred her soul and trust in people to STAY in her life. This is a big reason her attachment to me is so anxious. She's afraid we could disappear at any time and she will have to start all over again. Poor baby. And lets face it - all these military moves only compound the problem. Bad on us.

Of course no amount of consoling or explaining that Mrs. B isn't gone helped. So I had to just set everything aside and sit in a chair with a grieving child soaking me down for about an hour and a half. Not pleasant. And to be 100% transparent - these type of breakdowns tend to make me ANGRY. Angry at the parents that let her go. Angry that there are thousands of children that live with this type of grief. I don't let on that anger to MM, but its up there in my head.

The world is not a fair place.

Luckily we had a going away picnic to attend of a family on our block. (Speaking of which - we have about 12 houses on our block and know 4 families that are leaving in June. We havent even been here a year and we are about to be one of the old families. The house next to us has a new family with college aged twins. Glad they aren't really good looking as I do have a 14 year old. Just sayin.) So I was able to distract MM with the upcoming fun....and it solidified us going as it was rainy and I was considering skipping it.

The picnic was awesome. Chassity - way to go. You know how to throw a party! There were 3 inflatables, a magician, face painter and a guy on stilts that made balloon animals. MM bounced and bounced and bounced and ran and played -- and there was even mac n cheese so she actually ate also. Bonus! We took home one tired little girl! Thank GOODNESS!!! (Songbird was at a friends end of year bonfire -- oh to be a teen again.)

And I did promise to try to get in touch with Mrs. B to see about a quick, private, goodbye for the summer and show MM that she is still HERE.

So first thing Friday morning I got an email back from Mrs. B saying she'd love to see her and she would be up at the school until noon. I put MM in the car and took her for a private goodbye, see you next year kind of thing. And MM was much better. Still cries off and on but its more like my Songbird used to do -- sad but not soul deep.

And from there I took her to the bookstore to pick a summer bridge workbook to keep her up on some reading and math over the summer. I wasn't in any hurry to go home since we have a broken water main in the neighborhood and we were to have no water from 9am to 7pm.

And when daddy got up he called us home and we collected the teen animal and jumped in the car to head for Cincinnati.

There we checked out Jungle Jims. It's a huge collection of shops and a large food store with food from all over the world. And they have thousands of kinds of hot sauces that are funny to browse. We love to try new ones! Hubs found the digestive biscuits he loves from England. And we found the cracker nuts that he used to bring home from Guam. I found the Tabasco soy sauce I love but have a hard time finding. They carry Hubs favorite hot sauce that he has been having to bring back from Texas....and my favorite salsa (Hell on the Red). Like anybody really cares right? They also carry my Lirio soap! (And I checked the package and phosphates are not listed.)

Anyways - on the way home MM got to pick dinner...which means the rest of us had to choke down McD's. And then Songbird wanted to stop at Rue21 at the outlet mall.

And since its Memorial Day weekend there were some good sales.

Which totally rocked because I was supposed to take the girls shopping for their summer clothes before the 6th when we go on vacation. And I was really dreading it as I had just done all that shopping for the DC trip. But I found EVERYTHING they needed right down to the swim suits!!! Yesssssss! (You have no idea how much I was dreading that shopping errand!)

And at home MM got to play out on the back porch with the neighbor girl until 9:50 and then fell into bed about 10pm.


I think its going to be a good summer after all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

You Know You've Adopted Internationally When...

Yesterday Tonggu Momma did a post that is a spin-off of a post on the Adoption-China boards many moons ago. Her list is pretty familiar for those of us that have adopted. Then...she passed it on by saying "your turn". Is that like a dare?

So here is my contribution....

You know you've adopted internationally when you have been called names like "baby stealer", "White-privileged (= racist)", "baby buyer", or have been accused of adopting because its popular and the baby is more like a accessory instead of a real child.

You avoid eye contact with other people when in public with your child because you just don't want the ignorant or PERSONAL questions.

You've thrown-up in your mouth a little over comments made about what a great person you are for saving that poor baby.

You've started challenging others over racist type comments even though you were too shy to even speak in public pre-adoption.

You know the wounded animal sound of your child ...which is like no sound the children you gave birth to EVER made.

You understand the primal wound crying and know there is NOTHING you can do but hold on to that shaking body ... and that your child does not even understand WHY.

You've held a child while they cried for hours over the last day of school and nothing you can say can convince them that this is just one more loved person in their life that has magically disappeared.

You know that there are many situations where we can't talk or reason...all you can do is listen and try to empower.

A school year with no calls for you to come to the school is worthy of a PARTY!!!


You know you've adopted internationally when you've fought with a pediatrician over WHICH growth chart says they are failing to thrive(!) and demand they use the chart from their child's country instead of from the US.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Last Day of School Edition

I am thankful that today is the last day of school....

That we made it through the year with zero phone calls due to a hysterical child...

Only two phone calls and clothes changes over massive nose bleeds....

After a slow start MM has picked up reading and mastered all she was supposed to master...

And that I now have my girls for 2 1/2 months!

Love summer vacation with my kids!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A trip in miniature

Bye girls! Be good!
Head for D.C. - but not all the way
Through the mountains that remind me of my roots (Kentucky)
A stop for the night in a cute little city in Maryland
Last room and military discount
Dinner at a Crabby Pig

A walk through a restored downtown
A lesson on the canals of olden days
Night night!

Thank you Marriott
For VERY early check-in
And a free upgrade to a suite
Room at the end of a very long hall
Reminiscent of The Shining
All I need is a Big Wheels....
And can't you just see me power-sliding through the halls

Metro confusing and expensive- skip it
Hummus and chicken souvlacki
A long walk down King Street (16 blocks each way)
Into old town Alexandria
Steamboats and old ships on the PotomacTwo honors ceremonies
One SCREAMING toddler NOT removed from the room
An early night

An early morning
Deciding to drive into downtown DC on a weekday work morning
(which was not bad)
The search for parking (which was)
A 1.4 mile walk from parking spot
iPhone maps/gps ROCKS
Smart enough to bring walking shoes/socks/backpack purse
Quick change of shoes and bag
Cute new purse left in the car
Nice morning walk thru monuments
Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall
Largest graduating class in the history of the school

Once again sitting in front of two kids - one of which cried because it was too long
(and it was poor babies)
Even hubs comments later on how he has never heard so many crying kids
Return to car just in time to avoid ticket.....turns out we were on a handicap zone
Thanks to officer and horsey for not fining us $250
Walk. Walk. Dinner. Walk. Walk.
Nap- he started it
Chilling the evening away with good books and the Captain

Up early for breakfast but then we both went back to bed
Lazy day- we decide not to sight see
Lunch at Murphy's Irish Pub
One of the best salads I've ever had

Purple and white is a stunning combination
Beautiful bride
Visiting with family we hardly ever get to see
Beautiful children in their wedding finery
So glad we came

Up early and on the road
A much faster trip with no kids!
Home again! Home again!

No time to visit as T and girls are heading to other places
Thank you my friend!
It couldn't have happened without you!
Love, love, love you!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What Happens When You Give A 6 Year Old The Camera?

You get a whole different view of the world!

This is Tricia again and this time I am making a shameless plug for Snapshot Saturday over at my blog! :)
Snaphot Saturday

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hair Flair

Hi! Tricia here. I thought since Autumn is away, I would hijack her blog and do a post.

Remember this? MM asked for bump-its for her birthday, and although she got quite a stash of presents, she didn't get bump-its. They came in the mail later as a gift from Bethy. The girls and I all played around with putting them in MM's hair. As a disclaimer, I am not a hairdresser, but at least we had fun. :)

MM says:
Thanks, Bethy! I love my bump-its!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Here's Hopin'!

Loving the spring weather! So so glad the snow is gone!!!!

I don't like snow. And hubs has out and said it looks like we will find a way to retire in Texas when the time comes. Don't know where in Texas... but who cares! Hot weather is in my future!!

Anyways...back to spring.

We have been enjoying the back patio in the evenings and sometimes during the day. We've already dusted off the smoker and used the grill enough times to refill the gas.

And hubs couldn't stand it. He begged for tomatoes.

I haven't had any success with container tomatoes yet. We tried last year in Texas and those crazy worms pretty much killed them. But most people had bad luck with tomatoes last year so I didn't feel bad.

Here we have the great dirt and weather. Well. Not us personally. After all we live on a superfunded site. I won't even plant flowers in this dirt. Nope. Not interested.

But hubs really wanted to give the container tomatoes another try so I ordered some this time. Hubs likes the yellows the best so I got a variety of those and some of the ones that are supposed to be ready in by the 4th of July. We will see.

So wish us luck. It would be so nice to have fresh tomatoes again. This year is supposed to be a bad one for tomatoes since the winter was so wet. Prices are supposed to be high this year. It would be nice not to have to pay them!

MM decided she needed to be right there with the adults. Made me smile when I found this.
Hopefully this works. We have 6 pots.

And tomorrow hubs and I are off to his graduation. A friend will be here with the girls keeping things running. We have a day with 2 receptions. A day with the graduation and then a day with a wedding. Not really any time to explore or have some fun in the D.C. area. Darn!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Snapshot Saturday or The Racket That Is Spring Pictures

Mighty Mouses Spring Picture


This post is for those that don't know or haven't figured out the fall vs spring picture racket.

As mom's, we want those school pictures of our kids. It's like a requirement or something for good mommyhood. You cannot imagine NOT buying those pictures. After all, it could get you kicked out of the "good mom" club or something if you don' matter how AWFUL they are.

Am I right?

Yet here is what I have learned from having one finish school, one make it to high school and one in Kindergarten.

It doesn't change over time.

It doesn't change by location.....and we've had about 8-9 of those changes so I feel qualified to speak.

Fall pictures go like this: They send home an envelope and a date for your kids pictures. Yeah! And you pre-pay for those pictures, sight unseen, prior to picture taking. Period.

The pictures come home about a month later....

And they are awful. Or barely okay. Visible buggars. Messy hair. Lunch on the shirt .... or snot...depending on the kid. Wet stretched out neck line for the kid that chews their shirt. It's all there for everyone to see.

And what is it with my kindergarteners and thinking its BAD to show their teeth in a smile?? Still have not figured out how this happened with ALL THREE of mine.

So now you have this wonderful packet of pictures to stuff in the Christmas cards, that are less than flattering in so many cases. To be fair, I think my son had ONE good fall picture. And you can try for picture re-take day if you want to take that on.

But admit it. You keep those photos. The ones we bought unseen. That we would NEVER do if it wasn't the school system. I personally have walked away from other picture sessions and not bought less than flattering pictures. Why would I pay for something I don't want to send out?

So Christmas comes and goes and here comes Spring.

And now they throw in a Spring picture.


They take the pictures, then send them home. With an envelope to pay for them or you can return them.

Except they are always FANTASTIC. They actually have a cute background instead of dead grey. The kids hair is brushed. They smile. The photographers actually TRY to get a good shot. Because we aren't going to buy them if they get sent home and are NOT good.
Fall (I picked one of the kindest shots...don't want the bad ones all over the net!)Spring

And you kick yourself as you fork out more money cause these pictures are actually WORTH having and are a better representation of your beautiful child.

So moms, listen to this.

You can actually NOT buy the fall pictures.

But what if the spring ones aren't good?????

Haven't seen it happen yet. And with three kids over a 15 year spread...that's pretty good odds. I figure if it ever does happen, I'll take the kid somewhere and have them done and still be better off.

And you could just buy the smallest packet if you just can't NOT buy the fall insults (sucker! photographers dream!!). And Kindergarten moms are going to buy that first fall package no matter what because it is a first - totally get that.

But, after that first set of kindergarten fall NEVER have to do that again.

Really, its okay.

And for those Christmas envelopes? Go have a FAMILY picture done. People actually like that.

And then, when those Spring pictures come? Right before summer send them out to all your friends and family. And they will actually have something in the mail from you 2X in one year! Gasp! Can you imagine! I'm sure they will HATE that you thought of them and spent time on them TWICE! Seriously. Don't you love these people enough to fit an extra hour or two A YEAR stuffing envie's and writing a letter to those worthy enough of a picture?

Oh - and once they hit high school this all goes away. Whew. But the pictures in the fall are better since they TRY a little with the whole yearbook thing.

So there is your fair warning for those that don't have the kids in school yet.

Fall pictures are horrid. Spring pictures rock.

And you don't HAVE to buy those fall pictures. I don't. Except kindergarten and high school.

Trust me.

It will be okay.

And you wont feel like you flushed money down the drain to insult your child.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It is Finished!

Wow. Nothing like starting your first big project with a deadline...right? And boy is my deadline close!

But I'm Done!

Now, I'm 100% certain I'm safe posting now instead of waiting as those involved are not reading my blog. But, let me just say....if you know someone that is getting married rather NOT share this post with them. Got it?

So for the unveil of Caribbean Honeymoon....

Pre-quilted. The top is called Brick Path. I used some modern colors which remind me of tropical islands. It didn't start out that way. I took some fabrics I had ordered that turned out to be the wrong blue when they arrived...took them to the fabric store to find complements and this is what it morphed into. Quite pleased with it. And it turns out to be big enough to fit on my queen bed. Wow. Up to this point I had only done lap quilts and baby quilts. I'm feeling pretty intimidated at this point.
I found a cool piece of aqua fabric and bought it as the center of the back. Then I took the scraps from the front and just made up a design. Used the rest of my sashing material as borders and made a brick path around the center piece. There is also a "signature block" at the top. I have to admit I don't really like just a solid back. For one, it takes alot of material. Second...I like to use as much of my leftover's from the front as possible.
The signature block on the back. It reads: Marriage is not a noun, it is a verb. It isn't something you get, its something you do. It's the way you love your partner every day. Wishing you a lifetime of love in action.
So I just used my regular stitch-in-the-ditch to quilt it together. Although I have now taken a class on machine quilting, this was not the project for the first time actually doing it. I threw the quilt on my bed to check size...since I kept adding borders and such because I didn't like the original size....and it does fine on a queen. Not bedspread fine...but blanket fine.
The back. I like the way the brick path comes through on the center piece of fabric. The lines on the back are not really straight with the design, but when you have different fronts and backs that is pretty much what happens. As it is the back, I'm not stressing it. (This is where my lack of the perfectionism gene pays off.)
A closer look.
Folded with the signature block being the first thing to see when opened. This is another big thing with me....the reusable boxes. I started using them instead of paper/bags a few years ago. Its a fun way to make it more like two gifts and looks great. I found this butterfly box at Marshall's.
All packed up and ready to deliver.

So I'm all kinds of patting myself on the back because it really turned out even better than I imagined. So much so it was hard to package up to give away! LOL!

And now back to the sewing room as I'm working on three other gifts! Will reveal two in about a month!