Tag Archives: Family

Black clouds overhead

Do you ever have one of those days or even week were it seems like a black cloud is floating overhead?

My cloud has been there for what seems forever. Thanksgiving was a bit off this year. Our first one without Oma. She was the one to plan and coordinate the menu. Always incorporating some new recipes to spice things up. I was the one to host and clean up. This year our dear friends Nonny and Papa Don invited us to celebrate with them. It was very nice and the meal was yummy, but it felt off.

I normally decorate the house the weekend after, but I didn’t have it in me. Hubby brought up the boxes and with much insistence from the children, I “assembled” our tree. Ms. A took over and decorated the tree with the help of Mr. D. Literally, the children did it all. I sat and watched. Nothing else was unpacked and nothing else is displayed. I am done. I want no more.

I can make no plans this holiday because we don’t even know if we will be here. Tomorrow our paperwork will be picked up from the consulate and then sent on the last leg of this unbelievable long journey. It will go to Beijing to get assigned a travel approval. At least that is what I think is happening. They say this can take anywhere from 9 days to 4 weeks. That leaves me in the air. The first family in our original LID group is home with their daughter. I can just look at a picture.

There are so many things to be thankful for. So many things to enjoy with my family. So many things to do and get done…..

This wait is official hitting me hard. The holidays are tough without Oma. I miss my daily talks with her. I miss making holiday plans. I miss talking about my holiday gift purchases. I miss bouncing ideas off of her.

I feel bad about how I currently look. I have stopped exercising. My weight is creeping up.

I need to get out of this mood. I need to start feeling better. I need to get some energy. I need to get it together.

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Goofing around is frowned on!

Mr. D is trying something new….Tae Kwon Do!

I found a deal on an intro package which included four classes and a uniform for under forty dollars. I was looking for something just for him to do and this seemed like it could help him with his balance, gross motor skills, and his focus. I spoke to the instructor about his limitations and about what I was hoping for him to get out of the class. He then explained that this would be a wonderful experience and that adaptations would be made to help him be successful.

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Mr. D was a little nervous about going. We got there early so he could check it out and watch the earlier class. When he got presented with his uniform and saw kids his size, he started to get excited.

He loved his first class!

It was so much fun to watch four little guys getting introduced to Martial Arts. The two instructors were great and kept the class moving from one activity to the next. It was a total of thirty minutes and he was nice and sweaty with a big grin on his face when he was done.

So when Thursday came around, he was ready to go to class number two. He was very excited and from the moment he woke he was asking when class would start.

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I think he was a little over excited and he got a tad bit wound up. There was a different instructor and he had a different way of running the class. Things started going down hill when I heard the instructor sternly tell Mr. D they would not move to the next activity until he did a sit-up. Poor kid has never done one in his life. He wasn’t able to do it and the instructor was become more stern with him. I think he thought Mr. D was being difficult, but he physically doesn’t have the muscle tone to do it. I was almost ready to walk into the gym and say something, but they finally moved on to something else.

I was hoping that the rest of the class would be better, but I was wrong. Mr. D was still excited and started to get silly with the other boys.

“There is no goofing around in class!”

“Yes Sir!”

Like these little guys know what that even means. Sigh….

He was not a happy camper leaving class. The instructor escorted him out and before he could even start speaking to me, I started into him. I told him that I explained to the Tuesday instructor about his low tone and physical issues. I then stated we would work on some of the activities he was having trouble with and that I would speak to Mr. D about “not goofing around.” The instructor just nodded and walked away.

I was fuming…. it always seems like there are problems when we try activities. I thought I had handled it. I thought we were on the same page. I should have know better when I saw a new instructor. It’s like déjà vu….gymnastics, soccer, skiing…. I would finally find an instructor that worked great with him and the next week they would be gone. Argh!!!!

I am an advocate for my son. I try my best to get everyone to understand what “his deal” is. I want him to have a positive experience, to have fun, and to feel successful in the activities he does. What parent doesn’t want this.

Tuesday is class number three. I will speak to whoever is teaching to make sure we have a good class. In the mean time, the kids and I are doing sit-ups, push ups, and stretches every morning to be prepared.

Mama Bear is on high alert!

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Let’s Bowl!

So, I am not a “bowling-type” girl, but we have a dear childhood friend who is. He actually is the bowling coach at the local high school he teaches at. I didn’t even know that this was a high school sport until he started coaching the team.

Today was his 40th birthday and he had a party. Where else, but at the bowling alley that his team plays at. The whole family was invited and we have been looking forward to it for weeks. Ms. A has been to a few bowling parties before, but it was a first for Mr.D.

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Ms. A was in her element. There was fun music, disco lights, and a group of kids to hangout with. It just happens that we, Hubby and I, have known each other since high school. We have been blessed with a great group of friends that have stuck together since our teens. This group has grown with the addition of wives and husbands, and most importantly children. We now have a second generation of friends among the children. It’s amazing to see our children enjoy the company of each other. It make these types of outing so much better when we can involve everyone. There is no need for babysitters. It’s always a family thing when we get together with our dear friends. That’s what makes these friends so great.

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Mr. D was a little apprehensive about the whole bowling thing. He, is not one for trying new things. We have learned that talking about what we are going to do “sometimes” makes things go better. The Key word is “sometimes.”

Well, I forgot to tell him about the shoes….Arg, the shoes………It was almost a game stopper, but he saw the “big” kids running up to the counter getting their shoes and he decided it might not be so awful. After putting them on, he then pinched his hand between the bowling balls on the rack.  This put him off and he refused to hold the ball.  Hubby then took over and helped him out.  In the beginning he just ran next to  Hubby while he bowled, but then he asked to try.  He got some pins down and he started to get excited.

I feel so sorry for the floor…. The poor floor….We kept explaining to all the kids to roll the ball, not throw the ball.  I think the music was to loud because they did not alter their methods.  The bumpers went automatically up for the kids when they bowled and went down for us adults, what a fabulous idea!  The party really started rolling then.

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The snacks, pizza, and cake came out and Mr. D decided he feet were tired and he was done….He had his eyes on the arcades……Mommy said no……. That didn’t go over well.

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After two hours, we were ready to go home, or I was ready to go. A little to much noise, pop, junk food, and distracting arcades for mommy to handle for long periods of time.

Walking out of the alley Mr. D turned to Ms. A and said “That was a great party, we should do it again!”

We had a great time celebrating with our friends. The kids were overall well behaved for the situation and Mr. D had a successful first experience bowling.

I don’t  think we are ready for a league just yet……..however, I do like the matching shirts.

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Paperwork Pile Up

I have a sick fascination with the show “Hoarders.” It’s amazing to see how people live with this awful disease. I just can’t imagine a life and a house with so much clutter.  I get quite depressed watching the show. Yet, every time when I am surfing the channels and I see it on, I turn to it. Hubby is in the background sighing and saying comments under his breath. Like a traffic accident, I can’t help but gawk. Yes, I am one of those.

Hubby and I have often discussed the fact that I am the complete opposite. I am a self confessed “Tosser.”  If anything goes missing, I am the first to be blamed (then the dog, because it is likely she has eaten it).  There is no ownership to my family’s disorganization, just an easy blame that mommy threw it away or the dog ate it.

I do admit that I enjoy/love a tiddy house. Everything has a place, so there is no reason for things to be a mess. I have provided spaces, containers, and organizational tools for everyone and everything in our abode. Due to this fact…….nothing is safe if you leave it laying around in the public spaces of our home.

The kids come home from school and open their bags and I pull everything out and ask them what do they “really” need and all the rest I toss in my circular file (garbage can). I have one file folder were I keep Ms. A really good papers, tests, writings, and at the end of the year they get placed in a folder that has her grade level and filed away. Mr. D is not at that stage. Any paperwork from his therapies get filed away and if he can explain what he drew, painted, or crafted it gets hung on the wall. These hangings last about a week and then get tossed.   But don’t think me as a heartless mommy, I have been saving one piece of art from each school year and framing it. These hang in hallway and I love looking at the developmental progress each one shows.

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I have quite a system to keep thing running smoothly in our house, but lately……….. Well, I’ve been slacking.   I looked at my desk and I can barely see the wood top.  What’s happening?  I can’t believe the pile up of paperwork that has arrived in our house.

I better start at it……Now were did I put those garbage bags?

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Adoption Update for January

There has been 5 days of matching done for the month of January.  I am happy to see that some matching work was done, but still, at the rate they are going, it seems like an eternity until they will reach our LID.  From what I understand, China has a government office that deals just with international adoptions.  There is a huge backlog of families waiting to be matched with “a typical” child (there is a different wait time if you chose to go for a special needs child).  We are one of those families waiting for “a typical” child.  We started the paperwork in January of 2006.  Finished and sent it out that summer of 2006.  Our paperwork was approved in China on September 22, 2006.  That’s our LID …..log in date.  Each month China matches a certain number of families.  That number is posted and that is how we know that the wait is almost over.  The current date that China has matched till, is August 15, 2006.  August has 31 days and we are the 22 of September, so that makes 38 days to match before it is our turn.  That may seem like nothing, but when you see numbers like 3 days of matching for 1 month’s work, it can be depressing.  Of course, all government offices are closed now  for the Chinese New Years celebration.  I wonder what effect that will make on the numbers they match for February.  We can only hope that it will prompt them to start the new year with a bang!

At one point, I had reached out to all the families from our LID (9/22/06) group at the adoption agency we work with.  There were 13 of us.  Several families showed interest in making contact and we began corresponding.  None of those families are still adopting.  One family saw their youngest graduate high school and felt that they had passed the age to parent a toddler.  Several families switched to the special needs route (God bless them for that).  Many of them dropped out due to changes in jobs, marriage status, and cost.

We are holding strong.  Baby J is much loved and wanted.  She has had a nursery waiting for her for over five years.  She has had her stocking hung by the fire each Christmas.  She has a stock pile of gifts and a mountain of clothing waiting for her arrival.  She has a big sister who is growing older and can now be a babysitter versus a playmate.  She has a brother who was a surprise blessing and is so much wanting to be a “Big Brother.”

Our baby is in our prayers and thoughts all of the time.  Everytime…. I pass her room….see a baby held in her mother’s arms…a women who is pregnant….commercial for diapers…almost everything  and anything makes me think of her.  I think of her birth mother in China making the most difficult decision any mother would have to do.  I wonder how she is doing in her pregnancy.  Is she ill in the morning, does she crave anything, is there someone there supporting her or is she all alone in this difficult journey.  I wish for her to have peace with her decision.  I wish that she could somehow know that her daughter will be a cherished child and we will love her with all of our hearts.  I wish that my daughter would not have to mourn the loss of her first mother to be loved by me.  I remind myself that our adoption is a result of someone else’s tragedy.   If China did not have a “one child policy” where would we be in our journey to have a family.  I ponder these things and wonder what if…….

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Dinosaur Eggs?

Santa brought the kids some Geodes. They look like plain old rocks, but if you break them open, 80% have crystals inside. I bought, I mean Santa brought four. Today, after sorting and putting away all the Christmas loot, Mr. D found his bag of rocks. With great insistence that they were dinosaur eggs, hubby got out the hammer. They gathered around the kitchen island and started banging away. In fear of cracked counter tops, I sent them to the garage. After lots of noise, yelling, and increased tool power, they were able to break through. The results were poor, yet the process was very exciting. Mr D is still waiting for his baby dinosaurs.

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Merry Christmas

Wanting to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We have a full house with Grandma and Poppy arriving from Florida. All the parties are scheduled and menus planned. Gifts are almost all bought and those that are bought have been laid out and looked at closely for equal and fairness. The wrapping of the gifts are the most difficult for me. I have no patience with bows and ribbons. I attempt to cut the paper to the proper length, but if I am short, I have no problem in patching it in. I really have no interest in putting any effort into something that will be ripped off and thrown away in a matter of seconds.
When packing my planters, I found a place online to purchase just plain brown bags (uline) in different sizes. I then went on “etsy” (a place were people can sell their handmade goods) and found someone who could make me a custom stamp.

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I think they turned out nice. The look simple and organic. I pack the plants in unprinted newsprint and tie it up with jute rope. The end product is a nice presentation and it keeps the plants safe during transport.
Getting back to our topic, I am ready for Christmas (to be over). Ha, ha, just kidding. Although, the day after, I will be packing everything up. I find that it is easier than dealing with the question “Is it Christmas again?”  Jolly, our shelf elf, is gearing up to leave us for the year.

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He is not a creative elf. He usually just moves from one shelf to another in our house.  Sometimes when mommy or daddy stay up to late, Jolly misses his time slot to go back to the North Pole to report.  He ends up frozen in the same spot for several days.  OOPS! If behavior gets out of hand, he does write a threatening note.  This does seem very effective for a short period of time.

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The kids and I did make cookies this week.  They did all the measuring, mixing, and sampling.

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Yes, chocolate chip! They aren’t Christmas cookies, we get tons of those sent or given to us. They were the choice of the kids. I don’t mind. They taste great and I didn’t have to frost. Have I mentioned how I don’t like to frost cookies. All that work and it gets eaten in a matter of seconds……Hum…..I am starting to see a trend.

Once again, have a safe and Merry Christmas!

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