Monday, September 29, 2008

How long will we wait?

We had been very excited this weekend that we might receive our adoption referral today. We knew it was a bit of long shot, but there were a few indications we might be included. Today it looks like we will be waiting another month. It appears the cutoff is Feb 15, 2006. Our date is Feb. 17, 2006. While this means we are almost certainly in the next batch, I am a little disappointed today.

Lately, I have struggled with Banana wanting to tell her parents how we should parent. Today I am that spoiled child wanting to tell God how to do his job. Doesn't he know that we wanted to be home by Christmas, not face the possibility of having to be in China over Christmas. Doesn't he know how long we have waited? How we have accepted the cross of miscarriage?

The fact is, he does know all those things. Just as I see all the good in my dear Banana. He also knows that there is more to happiness than just getting what we want, even if we think we are right in what we want. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. I have prayed that His will be done in this adoption and this is another time I am being asked to live that. I can choose to be the spoiled child who cries and whines about not getting their way (right now that sort of sounds good) or I can choose to once more submit my will to God's will and hang in there till next month. I'll let you know what I decide in a few days :)

On a lighter note, those who know me know I love donuts, L-O-V-E donuts. So I couldn't help finding out what kind of donut I am. Imagine my surprise and delight when the results were in and I found I was my absolute favorite donut:





You Are a Boston Creme Donut



You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.

But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.

You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.

You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall


I wouldn't want anyone to think that the only reason I love fall is college football. There is so much more than that. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Knee-high socks on my girls. Being homeschooled they are largely unaware of fashion so they get on kicks. Last year it was anything that made them look like they belonged on with Laura and Mary on the prarie. This year it is anything that resembles a school uniform. Plaid skirts with knee high socks will always be cute.


  • New school books. We got one last package of new books this week. I just love the crispness of the pages and the excitement of looking through what we get to learn (I say we because I am often in need of a refresher, especially with History).


  • Apple picking, hayrides, pumpkin patches. We will be doing more of this in the coming weeks.


  • Sweaters, sweatshirts, and jeans and new shoes to crunch the leaves.


  • Squash soup. We had it for dinner tonight. It is such an easy soup to make and it is absolutely hands down one of my favorite meals. A salad and a loaf of bread and you have some serious comfort food that is fairly healthy. I can't wait for tomorrow's leftovers.


OK, my favorite is still football, but tonight's dinner reminded me of how much I love this time of year.


Just can't help myself

Did you hear the news? It's just about the only good news we've had in quite some time.
USC LOST!!!

Now, I wish it would've been the Buckeyes instead of the Beavers, but I'll take it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You'd think I was starving my children

Tonight is the season premier of The Office. It is the only show dh and I actually watch on a regular basis. I like Lost, but he lost interest in it. The last few weeks sweets and snacks have been hard to find around here as I am trying to shed a few pounds. Last night dh was scavenging and the poor guy snacked on saltines and fake cheese. I felt bad about that, so today I decided to bake some cranberry oatmeal bars so we would have a snack tonight.

I milked this for all it was worth getting the girls to help me clean after their swim lessons so there was time for cookie baking. They were all very cooperative. I think they were feeling a little dessert deprived lately as well. I pulled out the flour, the brown sugar, etc. while Bear pulled out the old-fashioned oats. I continue pulling out ingredients and then turn around to see Bophie eating the oats-- by the handful. Nothing with them, just oats.


I am telling dh about this at dinner and Banana pipes up, "Oh yeah, that's so good. If you chew on them long enough it starts to feel like you are making oatmeal in your mouth." YUCK!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maturity

Last night I had the opportunity to meet with some other homeschooling moms in our area. One conversation in particular reminded me how thankful I am to have the opportunity to stay at home and school my children. I really needed the reminder this week when I have been indulging too much in the this is not what I signed up for mentality.

My dear 8 year old still plays with dolls. She still dresses the doll she got for Christmas when she was 4. Said doll is a baby doll. It looks like a baby. It does not have a web page where you can chat with other friends, it does not look like a teenage rock star, it doesn't even require batteries. It is just a baby doll. Banana decided the doll should be a boy, so she dresses him in all the little baby boy clothes that we have never needed. I even remember at one point being so amazed at the indulgences she had when I succumbed to buying a package of newborn diapers for a doll. I had to use paper towels when I was young. How spoiled she was to get real diapers.

Now Bear (5) and Bophie (2) are all about their baby dolls. Bophie is so attached you have to pry it from her hands. Banana isn't like that anymore, but for years her doll went everywhere we went. She even fashioned various baby carriers so she could carry the baby like Mom. She doesn't do this so much anymore. Now she often prefers books or other games, but it is not uncommon to see her with her doll.

Some would say this playing with dolls is immaturity. Other kids her age would not be caught dead with a doll as those are baby toys. My Banana is not immature or babyish. She simply is not worldly. She plays with dolls because she is not affected by peers telling her she is babyish. She often picks up the doll to play with her younger sisters. This to me is more a sign of maturity. She is willing to put aside her desires to please her sisters and play with them. IMHO (in my humble opinion for those unfamiliar with blog speak), it is extremely important to distinguish between worldliness and maturity and not to confuse innocence with immaturity.

I hope Banana plays with dolls for years to come. I hope she is never caught up in the games and toys that keep other children of her generation from learning about family life. I am thankful for her innocence and willingness to be self-sacrificing. I know that this will lead to true maturity.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I am not a dog person

I never thought we would be a dog family. I have enough on my plate with the kids, I just couldn't imagine adding a dog to the mix. Bella, our new dog, was a gift from my mom this summer. We are now a dog family.

Dh has always been more of a dog person, and while Bella may have been too much of a diva for him, he couldn't help but get up during the wee hours of the night to force feed a small puppy we really didn't think was going to make it. Sometime in that 2 week ordeal they struck a deal and now Bella is his dog. This bond can only be broken by her refusal to be housebroken.

The girls were instantly won over by the little thing. Banana likes having a pretend friend and Bear likes having someone to chase her. Bophie is especially attached though. She carries Bella around like a doll, constantly referring to Bella as the baby. For months, she has been pushing the dog in her doll stroller beside her favorite doll "Mary". Today Bophie may have crossed the line though. As I was schooling the girls, she was trying to diaper poor Bella who was remarkably compliant with a 2-year old wielding a diaper and wipes.

I am still not a dog person. I don't like the interruption of trying to housebreak the dog. I am the one saddled by the grooming, and sometimes she just gets underfoot. She does give me a few laughs though. Last night when I took her out she's out doing her thing when the neighbor's air conditioning turned on. That little dog jumped a couple feet in the air and came running, luckily her business was already done. She must've barked for 10 minutes. Some guard dog she'll be....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Things I buy but never seem to have

Yesterday's hair clip disaster had me in the hair care aisle once again, with 3 girls I guess that is a little understandable. In David Letterman fashion, here is my top 10 list of things I buy in bulk, but never seem to have when we need them:

10. Cereal- I don't eat it, dh doesn't eat it, but my 3 little girls can finish off a box a morning, especially if dh bought the groceries. He is famous for getting the sugar cereal I would never buy.

9. Toothpaste- They must eat it. Dh and I can take a month or 2 to finish off a tube, but the girls never seem to have any. Some of this is explained by the toothpaste in the sink, around the sink, on the hand towels, and occasionally ground into the bathmat.

8. Hand soap- Now I am thankful they are washing their hands, but it seems that sometimes they use enough soap to wash 10 hands instead of the 2 they have.

7. Wipes- Dh is partly to blame here. A wet diaper can take him 4 wipes, and a poopy diaper almost always calls for a new package. The girls contribute as they seem to find endless joy in changing a doll's diaper.

6. Glue sticks- My girls are budding crafters and there is always some paper project going on. Almost all of these crafts involve some need to glue something, a lot of somethings. I also suspect the little one likes to try it out as chapstick.

5. Chapstick- Chapped lips season isn't here yet, but when it is you can be sure my girls will have them. They seem to battle with it the minute the air gets cooler. So I stock up on the chapstick. I buy simple ones, fancy ones, medicated ones, glossy ones, sparkly ones, tinted ones for me, tubs of it for dh. Doesn't matter. I still won't be able to find even one when I need it most.

4. Pencils-I buy them when the school supplies go on sale at the beginning of August. I buy many of them, multiple packages of 50 or so. It is still guaranteed that sometime in the beginning of October someone will say, "I can't do my schoolwork because I can't find a pencil." AAarrrrggghh.

3. Combs- I have bought many. I created a special drawer for them. They are never in the special drawer when I need them most.

2. Hair clips- Yesterday I touched on this. I buy them by the buckets, but whenever we need one, all that can be found are the fluorescent orange and yellow ones that match nothing. Then I look in the back of the car, it is amazing what can be found in the back of our minivan (Someday I will have to inventory, but that is another post).

1. Socks/Tights- I have again invested a small fortune in these items, but Sunday morning rolls around and no one can seem to find any without holes in them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Little Flowers

Today was our first Little Flowers meeting. Little Flowers is similar to a Girl Scout group. The girls have a troop that meets once a month and earns badges for learning about and practicing various virtues. While the girls love this group, I always seem to have a hard time getting school wrapped up and everyone out the door. This being only our second week of school and the first meeting, today was especially difficult. Let me replay some of the conversations we had as I try to brush their hair to make them presentable. Keep in mind, we are behind schedule and rushing to get out the door.

First I try to get Bear's hair.

Me: What is this in your hair?
Bear: Ouch that hurts!
Me: We just washed your hair, what is this?
Bear: OOOOWWWWW!

Turns out she had cheese from her egg sandwich at breakfast all through her hair.



Next up is Banana.

Banana: Do you like Lavender kamokie?
Me: What?
Banana: Does Lavender kamokie really help you sleep?
Me: What are you talking about?
Banana: Your soap... You know the lavender kamokie stuff.

Turns out she meant Lavender Chamomile (the picture is a little fuzzy). No, it does not make me sleepy --a post about my soaps is in the works...


Lastly I have to get Bophie's hair.

Bophie: Me get pigtails... two pigtails.... me pigtails....
Me: Ok, give me a second I am trying to find them.
Bophie: Me get pigtails... two pigtails.... me pigtails....
Me: Hold on a second. Where are those elastics?
Bophie: Me get pigtails... two pigtails.... me pigtails....
Me: Come on, I bought 500 of them, surely I could find 2!
Bophie: Me get pigtails... two pigtails.... me pigtails....
Me: Just imagine your best mom rant. I buy these things by the thousands, we have a small fortune in hair clips, but I can never seem to find one when I need one, etc.

I look down to see this:
Turns out, Bophie has been systematically taking the elastics and putting them on the knobs. This is only one. She has done it to all 8 of the knobs in my bathroom. I can tell you if it was as hard to put them on as it is to take them off, she has spent quite some time at this project.

Frazzled, we still made it to Little Flowers on time. I treated myself to a much needed cup of coffee and a cookie.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My lawn needs mowed too

I don't want to talk about this weekend's game... I just don't want to talk about it... I had resigned myself to the fact that we might lose, I just didn't want to be blown out. Well that didn't happen.

Mary's face says it all here:

Although, this was all she was crying about.

My favorite headline (I tried not to go to the sports pages at all) was

Showdown? No. USC Mows down OSU

Awful... Just awful.

Daydreaming

It amazes me how much I find myself thinking of this adoption lately. It pops into my head so many times each day. I know that a connection already exists between this little one and our family because I believe God has chosen her for us and us for her. Still, it is amazing how often my thoughts can turn to a child I have never met. When I was pregnant, I thought that my children were constantly in my thoughts because my body had constant physical reminders of them. From the first days of pregnancy there were so many changes happening, I was constantly reminded of the little person growing inside me.

This adoption has taught me that there is a mother/child connection deeper than the physical. I find myself daydreaming about this child much the same way I daydreamed about my other girls. What will her personality be? What will she look like? Will I be a good mom to her? And while there are obvious differences, I am comforted by the deep peace that she is a gift from God to our family.

In some ways I am thankful for the long wait. I was more apprehensive about the adoption when we first turned in all the paperwork. I was worried about how the child would fit into our family, would she have special needs I couldn't meet? Now, I feel much more confidence that God will take care of these details. My many miscarriages have also shown the strength of my little family, especially my girls. I know that this gift of a sibling is just that -- a gift. The best gift their parents can give them.

Now, it feels like the adoption is so close that I am worse than a kid waiting for Christmas. I troll all the rumor sites. I am constantly logging into our agency site for updates that aren't there. I have been reading blog after blog trying to prepare knowing there is no way I will be prepared. I am even counting down days to some unknown date that we will finally see her face (just a picture first, but I am still excited).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Antidote to the bad joke

If I didn't make you chuckle with my bad joke yesterday, maybe this will do the trick. I needed a good laugh and this worked for me.

It is a few years old, this is Bear (now 5). Her reaction to seeing the camera is priceless. It is much the same reaction I have.

video

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warning Bad Joke Ahead

What did the fish say when he hit a wall?
DAM hehehe

Tonight I have hit the wall. Our first week of school is pretty much over and I am spent. There is laundry on the couch that is probably wrinkled and will have to now be ironed (who am I kidding I'm just going to throw it back into the dryer), laundry in the machine hours away from that lovely mildew smell, dinner dishes piled in the sink, kids still not in bed and running around like wild Indians, and a thousand other items on my To Do list that should have been taken care of last week.

My response... I'm going to bed, or at least upstairs to watch some mind numbing tv.

Kickin it up a notch

A few days ago I posted Bophie praying the family rosary with us. Imagine our surprise this week when we heard her praying in Latin!

video

Latin was Banana's idea last year. She was taking a class and wanted to learn some of her prayers. This didn't surprise me as the only lullaby I could sing her wothout making her cry was the Salve Regina in Latin. At 2, I just figured Bophie was fairly oblivious to it, she took us all by surprise.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My very own Visa commercial

OK, today was supposed to be our second day of school. I think I mentioned yesterday how well the first day went. See, we were really busy last week. We went to an amusement park, an airshow, a birthday party, an indoor water park, had our first day of CCD (dh is teaching for the first time this year), a cookout at Grandma's., etc. So needless to say we are all a little over tired. Then came school...

On top of being tired from all the running around I was unprepared, the syllabus only got here Friday. Still we plowed through yesterday. Then last night, for the second night in a row, Banana was up all night complaining of an earache. We have been lucky in that none of the girls has had an ear infection. Last night that all changed. I got 2 maybe 3 hours of sleep, this while sandwiched between an 8 year old moaning in pain and a 2 year old who just seems to be fighting the whole sleeping thing.

So today I had to take the dog to her last puppy vet appointment, renew my driver's license (the BMV sent me a friendly reminder it expired 2 months ago), and then take Banana to her own doctor's appointment. Turns out she has an infection in both ears and fluid in her lungs. So then it was another trip to the pharmacy for a prescription. I am exhausted.

My Visa commercial:
Trip to the pharmacy for Children's Motrin-- 9 dollars
Doctor Visit-- 20 dollars
Z-Pack at the pharmacy-- 32 dollars
A good night's sleep for this mom of 3-- priceless.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Mother Mary

As you can probably tell from dh's previous post, today's first day of school was a long gruelling one for me. However, I have been waiting for a Marian feast to post this little tribute. It is our 2-year old Bophie joining us in the family rosary. I am hoping this little birthday gift brings her heavenly mother as much joy as it brought her earthly mother.

video

Printer Trouble

DH here,

Recently, DW announced she needed one of those new-fangled all-in-one printers for school. You know, one of those devices that copies, scans, prints, faxes, gets-up-in-the-morning-and-makes-coffee machines. Last month we found one at a local office supply store and I spent an evening assembling and installing the machine. I offered to train her on it, but she claimed it was intuitive and didn't need training. Until this morning.

DW calls me at work saying the new printer isn't working. It sounded like it was printing, but nothing was coming out. So she presses the copy button again, and again, and AGAIN. Same thing each time, no printout. It sounded fine to me, so I asked her to look in the output tray... "Where's that?" my DW innocently replies.

Turns out she had eighteen copies of the same math page...

First Day


Yesterday was the first day of CCD. Being a homeschooling family, this is sort of a big deal for us. It is the day the girls get all dressed up and we take pictures like it was the first day of school.


Since today is the first day of school for us, a picture is all there I time to really post today. At least it is a cute picture...

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Game of Checkers

Yesterday the girls and I went to a wonderful little birthday party. There was face painting (done by the kids), a blow-up bouncy water slide, and some excellent cake. We had such a nice time. This is the second really nice birthday party we have been to in the last month. It is making me rethink my little parties...

At the party, I was telling another mom about my blogging. How much fun I had rereading stories I had written a few years ago. There were so many cute, funny, and sweet things my girls had done I really thought there was NO way I would forget them. I have. Life gets moving full steam and there are new stories about new children and some of those stories get lost in the shuffle. I think it happens to all moms. My point in blogging is to have a good read years from now. I want my kids to be reminded of some of the things they did and to know how much I loved and treasured every minute with them, even some of the not so pretty moments. OK, I have digressed from where I was going with all this...

At the party, I was reminded of another of those stories I don't want to forget:

This last school year I thought it would be fun to teach Banana to play checkers. I think learning how to strategize and think through consequences can concretely be taught by playing games. After a ridiculously long round of checkers I told Banana she would just need a little more practice. Actually, what I said was, "If you practice and get a little better, you will be able to beat your dad. If you practice really hard you may eventually get good enough to beat your mom." Dh is of course in the study and hears none of this. Banana thinks about what I said and responds, "So you can beat Dad at checkers?" My response, naturally, is "Of course I can. I can beat the pants off your dad."

Banana and Bear find this really funny for some reason. They run into the study to Dad who is oblivious to all that has transpired. Banana then blurts out "Dad! Mom says she can take your pants off!"

Imagine trying to explain that one...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Adoption Update

Here is a picture of our family that was sent with our packet to China. This was taken the week we mailed our dossier to China. Little Bophie wasn't even born yet, I was trying to hide my pregnant belly!

Earlier this week we learned that the CCAA has currently matched through February 9, 2006. Our LID is February 17, 2006. This puts us 8 (EIGHT!) days away from being matched. We have been waiting so long it is almost hard to get excited. For 2 years I have stored away Christmas gifts, Easter basket fillers, and other special items thinking our newest one would be here. It is almost too much to think that there is a possiblility she could be here by this Christmas!

It may be too much to hope for, but St. Therese's feast is the beginning of October and wouldn't it be so appropriate to receive our match around her feast. I know November is more likely, but we have been praying that St. Therese will watch over our little one for so long I can only hope for October. Either way, our last baby would have been due on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The loss of her has been especially difficult for our family. This ray of hope that the adoption, God willing, is around the corner has given new joy to me and my family.

We are so close now it is likely our little one has been born and is in an orphanage. Please pray for her, pray for her mother, pray for her family, and pray for her country.




Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Slight Misunderstanding

A few months ago my girls caught me off guard while we had some friends here. One of the boys was getting ready to put his dirty fingers into my beautiful piece of pie. I try not to be too germaphobic, but fingers (especially kid fingers) in my food just grosses me out. So as I catch him, fingers just centimeters from the delicious pie I am so looking forward to enjoying, I put out my index finger, point at him and give him my sternest, "Don't you dare touch my pie." I never overreact :)

I then quietly took my pie and headed to the patio to join the other adults and savor my dessert. My girls follow me out and declare to everyone that I gave poor Tommy "the finger". Needless to say the others gave me quite a look. I stammer trying to explain my girls have a totally different idea of giving someone the finger. They have no concept of the vulgarity of raising a middle finger to someone. To them, pointing and speaking sternly to someone is giving them "the finger".

In that sense, I did give little Tommy "the finger" but it was worth it. That pie was delish....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Last Days of Summer

Didn't make it to a sports bar, but with a score of 43-0 I don't think it would have been an exciting game. We did have a great Labor Day weekend. We used the Cedar Point tickets we were given and took the girls for what turned out to be a fabulous day. Because most kids were back in school, the park was not at all crowded and the weather was beautiful. This is just one more advantage to homeschooling. We are thinking of making this trip an annual event.

The girls take after their mom, they LOVED the rides. The faster and more spinning we could do, the better. For one day, I was the cool mom. Dh hates these rides. The cable cars and Ferris Wheel scare him. I love them, always have. So on this trip, I got to take the girls on all the rides and Dad was on baby duty. They both were a little bummed at being too short for some rides. I was a little bummed no one could ride the Millennium or the Thrill Speed rides with me-next time...

The day was a little reminder of how much the girls had grown. Here is a picture of them on our first visit to an amusement park (Hershey Park) in 2004:



Here they are this weekend:

They are growing so fast. I like being able to ride roller coasters with them, I like the conversations we have, I love getting to know them. I so much enjoy being with them as they try new things. It is still a little hard for me to see how much they've grown and how quickly the time has gone.

It was nice to take Bophie for her first rides. Here she is enjoying the carousel: