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Dragon is growing up right before my eyes!

  
“I can do it myself!”  This is the current favorite phrase of my little Dragon.  She is now four and will be started preschool on Monday and if it had been her choice, she would be going to Kindergarten.  

We finally got her fitted with some much needed glasses after a complete failure at the school vision screening.  We had known since bringing her home that her vision had issues and was seeing a specialist every six months with hopes of her growing out of some of them.  No such luck.  Bright pink princess glasses were calling her name.  The next little issue to overcome, is a slight hearing impairment.  Her ears become compacted quickly, leaving her with very muffled hearing.  This time were are trying new drops to see if that might clear things up.

Overall, she is growing into a very bright, stubborn, inquisitive, little girl.  Eating well.  Sleeping so much better.  Unbelievably athletic in everything she tries…and growing up much to fast for this mamma!

Everyday when I see this smiling or not so smiling  face, I am so grateful that I stayed true to the course and never gave up on our unbelievable long adoption process.  When I share our story with others, they can’t believe what it all involved.  Yet, I know that there are many other families out there right now dealing with the same things.  They are still struggling with paperwork, wait time, and finding funds in order to complete their own dream.  I wish I could find them and tell them…Hang on!  You are almost there!  It will be worth everything you are sacrificing! 

So, I keep sharing, explaining, educating every chance I get.  

 

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Adjusting my focus!

As I sit under a blanket, in front of a fire, on this very cold below zero day in Januaray, I look back on what has happened with my family this past year. These quiet moments are so rare and I do need to take this time to reflect on all the things that I should be so very thankful for. Honestly, an activity that I don’t do enough of. Being positive and joyful on a day to day basis can be somewhat of a challenge for me. Is it how I grew up, how I am made…who knows? My sour attitude needs readjustment every once in a while. I definitely need a kick in the butt to be reminded to open my eyes and see the big picture. What is happening in the world around me and the people who touch my life. Not only do I need to open my eyes, I need to adjust my focus.

So here it goes….

First off, everyone in the family has been in good health, suffering nothing worse than a sniffle here and there. Dragon is up to par on all her vaccinations, no longer needs physical therapy, and is working hard in speech. Hubby has had another good solid work year. Being able to provide us with everything we need and more. Being the always stable rock, the oh so fun Daddy, and calming influence over us all. Our beloved Opa, has not thrown up his hands in defeat while trying to help out with our insane after school schedules and the sometimes not so successful family meals. His help and stable presence in our house make things go so much smoother.

Ms. A is just a shinning star in her first venture in middle school. She surprised us by earning a spot on the school announcement team and then trying out for the school musical and being selected. She is pulling off rock star grades and managing her super busy schedule. Dance season is just around the corner and she is just living it up.

Mr.D is holding his own. Currently he is a brown belt in TKD and really trying his very best. In a few weeks he will be testing for his red belt holding his spot as one of the youngest in the class. Kindergarten may not be educational, but he is having fun. We are so happy that he is having such a great experience. He just learned to tie his shoes, can almost ski down the beginner hill independently, and his reading skills are growing before our very eyes.

Dragon has been here with us for a year. Yes, it’s has been a year! The fastest year that I have ever experienced. I look at her and I still can’t believe this little person is my daughter. She is a different child from the one that we brought home from China. She loves her big brother and sister. She cuddles and wants to be held. Although her words are not here yet, she manages to let her wants be known. She is a little champ at her gymnastic class and will be starting a preschool mommy and me class next week. Dragon is sporting bangs and a set of earrings and is the cutest thing around. She moved out of the crib to a big bed. (I cringe when I hear any bumps at night and cross my fingers that I will still find her in bed.). She insists on using a fork to eat, which does pose some problems and finally has decided to drink from a sippy cup.

I am trying to stay calm with the children. I am trying to balance an insane after school schedule. I am trying to maintain the house at an exceptable level, letting things slide and not getting OCD about it. I am trying to get out and interact with people. I am trying to workout at least 30 minutes each day. I am trying….

I am trying to be a good mom. A good wife. A good daughter. A good friend.

Sometime I succeed and sometimes not so much. I just need to make a point of sitting back and letting it all in. I need to live in the moment and not look for the next….OK…I have adjusted my focus, stated all my thanks, and am ready to start this day in the positive.

Enjoy the pictures…they are growing up so fast.

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Almost a year of our Dragon!

It’s been almost a year since Dragon has joined our family. I can’t believe how the time has been flying by. December 26th of last year, we were on a plane to China and just a few days after that she was in our arms. We waited seven years for that moment and for that little baby and I still can’t believe some days that she is here.

Now, Hubby and I have come to the realization that she will be the last baby of the family. A very difficult decision that would have been different if the wait had not been so long. As “older” parents, we are soaking up every precious baby moment with her. Just this past week she moved out of her crib into a “big girl” bed. I was so excited for this big moment. So proud of her milestone, yet only when I was breaking apart the crib did it really hit me. With a heavy heart I realized this was the last time for this crib. There are no more to follow. It was a door closing on the baby stage in our lives as parents. Although I want my children to grow up, to accomplish new things, to reach milestones in their lives…. I want to just pause this one for a bit….I want to see her toddle around the house talking gibberish…

Instead, she is now jumping, climbing, and running through the house. She is standing in front of the fridge demanding a drink. She is inserting her opinion…she is growing up. Our little Dragon is no longer a baby. We have a little person with a Dragon Spirit growing up right before our eyes!

Dragon getting ready to celebrate her first Christmas with us!

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The first photo taken of Dragon on our Gotcha Day.

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What a difference a year makes. Sending our Holiday Wishes to you and a Happy New Year!

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A very late update…

It has been called to my attention that I have been neglecting my blog. At one point I was posting every few days and was fearful that I might be overdoing it. Now, I have seem to gone in the opposite direction. The best way to rectify the lapse is to review what’s on the phone and get everyone up to speed.

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Fall has finally arrived and we are enjoying the cooler weather and beautiful foliage. I even was able to get all three kids in a photo shoot outside with a professional photographer. This was the first time for Dragon and overall she managed. I won’t see the results for a few weeks, so cross my fingers that there is one shot among the hundreds taken that is Christmas card worthy.

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We had a great Halloween. Dragon got right into the spirit of things and loved being in the middle of the chaos of trick or treating. Hubby borrowed the neighbors tractor and wagon and all the kids loaded up and went door to door. I did manage to get half of the candy collected out of the house by the next day. The kids thoughtful sorted out what their favorite sweets were and donated the rest!

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Dragon has been going full force in her therapy sessions. The OT is working on her swallowing and chewing. Trying new foods with textures and working on drinking better from a sippy cup.

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Her gymnastic class is always something to look forward to and she is now following the routine of the class with little prompting.

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Lastly, we had the opportunity to watch our local university football team as guest in a suite. I am not a great fan of football. Much less, sitting in the cold with small children. However, you can put me in a suite any day! Buffet and a fridge full of drinks. Beautiful heated indoor seating behind a glass window. A clean bathroom located just across the hall and a lounge area for the kids to run around in.

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With some luck, I will get back to some thoughtfully written post that occur on a more timely schedule.

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Step away from the kitchen…

Step away from the kitchen… That is my silent mantra that I chanted as I attempt to make dinner for the family tonight.

It’s a well known fact that I don’t cook and that when I do, the results are a bit iffy. Hubby took on that responsibility from day one of our marriage. Fifteen years later and he still is the main cook. While I am not a bumbling idiot in the kitchen, it’s not one of the preferred chores that my family would want me to do. I probably have 10 decent meals that I could present to guests. If it were solely up to me to feed the family, I would just keep rotating those ten meals. However, Hubby and the crew have a more diverse pallet.

So, yesterday I had proclaimed that I would make meatballs from scratch for tonights’s dinner. Hubby asked if I had all the ingredients needed… Sure, I said.

I pulled out the recipe and the meat from the fridge and started the hunt to gather the needed ingredients. Meatballs should not be a difficult thing to make. They have just a few ingredients… meat, eggs, cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, breadcrumbs…. Hmm, breadcrumbs

Yeh, no bread crumbs to be found in our house. Not even a slice of bread, so I got a little creative. I had the choice of croutons, rice crispies, or tortilla chips. I made the decision to try the croutons.

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After some attempts at crushing them, I did find success with the rolling pin and my pamper chef hand chopper. Mr.D was sitting at the bar watching with a stunned look on his face. He kept asking me what I was making. Wow, what a moral booster.

I should have taken this as a sign and walk away, but just the opposite….I got a little bolder and….do I dare….yes, I pulled out the stand mixer.

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This was a wedding gift from some poor soul who really didn’t know me well. Anyhow, I dusted it off and found the right attachment. Since I pulled out the big guns, I might as well double…no, triple the recipe. How hard can that be.

With Dragon hanging on my leg, Mr.D in a trance watching me, I just keep going.

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Success! Four trays of meatballs in the oven. A total of four meals for the family.

Mr.D ate with gusto.
Opa ate his share, but he never complains about anything.
Dragon just squished things around.
Hubby had to stay late at work and missed dinner.
And lastly, Ms.A is at residential camp for the week, so no opinions from her.

What’s next in my kitchen adventures…Opa harvested some things from the garden.

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I really should step away while I am on a high note!

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Matriarch at age 39

Yes, that’s me. One of the many titles I currently carry, but not one that I wanted.

This is what happens to an only daughter of two “only children”. There are no aunts, cousins, or sisters to share in the responsibilities. It sits all on my shoulders.

These are the things that I think about as I push the mower back and forth. In perfect neat rows….at my father’s house. I don’t mow my own yard, but when my father goes out of town, I do this chore for him.

Lately, I have been having some deep thoughts about these responsibilities and decisions my mother had always made. Activities to do on the weekends, meals to serve, gatherings to organize, events in which need attending to represent the family, and holidays to plan. I guess you could say, I have been reminiscing about the simple olden days and my lack of any decisions that I had to make.

This time last year is when I started helping my Dad take care of Mom and I started stepping into this roll. She was getting bad and could not be left alone, but she wasn’t at the point of hospice care. I remember the difficult choices I had to make. Not being able to attend the children’s end of the year activities in order to give my Dad some relief. The children had to spend a huge amount of time with the babysitter instead of me.

I had never had that wonderful mother daughter relationship. Ours was stress filled, guilt filled, and someone always ended with hurt feelings. I had hope that we might have had an amazing change in our relationship at the end, but not so much…. Despite this, I think of her all the time. I wish I could still call her on the phone to ask those stupid questions I constantly have. Show her my new purchase or crafts that I created. Get her advice about things with the kids. Most of all, my heart just aches when the kids hit a milestone and she is not there to share the experience.

It will be a year in July since she passed away from cancer. I have been to the cemetery less than a handful of times. I have tried to fill the gap she has left, but I clearly am lacking in some areas. I just hope that I can be the best mom for my kids and that they can have a good solid relationship with me for many many years to come.

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Backyard Explorer

Mr.D received a very fitting gift for his birthday this year…

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My creature capturer received an explorer outfit. He has not stepped out of the house without it on. With one exception, I have put my foot down on the sound machine/animal caller (that is the grizzle bear looking thing in his hand) going to church.

So, he wanders the yard changing the sounds depending on what area he is in. Trying to lure animals to him. His options are the loon, cougar, grizzle bear, wolf, and eagle. Lucky for me we don’t seem to have those animals roaming our local area.

Even though he has not been successful, it sure doesn’t hamper his enthusiasm!

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