25 Nov 2008

Faith Restored In Humanity

Yesterday I was at the supermarket and all the registers had enormous lines at them. There is a school close by for troubled, and slightly mentally challenged kids and they were there also doing there shopping. I got into the shortest line and noticed that the man in front of me had 3 trolleys completely filled with turkeys. As he was an elderly gentleman I asked if he would like some help unloading them. He told me that they were very heavy so I told him I have to lug two kids about and I could manage. We chatted about people helping people and what a wonderful world it would be if we all did it.

He then paid for his gobblers and as he was tucking his receipt into his wallet the lady from the school approached him and hugged him and thanked him. It turns out that this gentleman had not only purchased 50 turkeys for needy families but he had also picked up the tab for the school. It was a very expensive grocery trip and he did it because he cares and because he can. I was so very touched by his kindness.
"My" bag boy Devon helped him out to his car and I told him to hurry back cos he is the only guy the kids will let push the cart. When he came back in he looked sheepish. I asked him what had happened and he very quietly told me the man had given him a very big tip. I told him he deserved and that I thought the old man was a wonderful human being. I felt so good yesterday to find out that there are still kind people in this world.

Now on to today. This might upset some of you as it involves gay rights so if it does just stop reading and come back tomorrow.

Our court system this morning overturned a law that banned gay couples from adopting children. They viewed it as unconstitutional. I am so happy. I was saddened with the outcome of amendment 2 on election day. Gay couples are just like you and I. You fall in love, you cannot help it and since when did love, caring and commitment make you a terrible person. I am teaching my children to respect all others regardless of creed, colour, race and sexual preference. We have a gay couple in our lives and one day I will tell the story of them, with their permission of course. My life would not be the same without them, neither would the lives of Lily and Rose.

It is a happy day and we have so much to give thanks for this year.

I have posted a lot lately but I will be taking a few days off as we are heading across the pond for the weekend. Me and the girlies, off to the Old Country we leave tomorrow evening and will be back on Sunday. We live in Dade County remember, so Lily cannot miss school.

24 Nov 2008

Girls, girls and more girls.

That is what my weekend consisted of. We had a girl weekend.

On Saturday my friend Hollis and her mum bought her 3 girls down so that we could all go together to a Christmas Parade. We went out to lunch and then marked our spot for the parade. The girls just love being together and wouldn't have cared if the parade was cancelled just so long as they could play.

The parade was a hit with them. It is only very small but they got a few goodies thrown at them and they were happy. The weather was perfect as we have finally seen the mercury drop below 80 degrees. The second the parade ended we ran to a restaurant for dinner and got there just in time. Within minutes the lines were out the door. The girls enjoyed their strawberry and nutella crepes and then is was time to leave the swarms of people and head back here where we bid farewell to Hollis, Grace and Little Trevi because the big girls were spending the night.

Oh you can't imagine the shrieks of delight. Apparently a 15 minute car trip can make you very hungry so I fed them dinner and then they headed for the tub. All three of them squished into one tub....Rosie was banned as they feared she would pee. I took a very disgruntled Rosie to my bath tub and bathed her solo. After I put Rosie to bed we were able to get the party started, those were their words.

They played, made bracelets, did crafts, made Hama Bead designs, and made old fashioned fortune tellers out of paper, (they were the biggest hit) and generally had fun. At one point they wanted more food so they made their own ice cream sundaes, huge enormous things that should have made them sick. After that fuelling it was back to playing. Jacob came home at 11.15 and they were still going and seeing him raised the excitement level. After he had showered we suggested it was bed time. One of them fell asleep immediately but not the other 2 they were giggling until well past midnight. Once we were convinced they were asleep we crawled into bed ourselves. Before we knew it Rosie was up and followed mere minutes later by three others. We cooked the biggest breakfast I have ever seen and then they took off playing again.

Jacob took, Anlei, Joie and Lily to the park and I stayed with Rosie so that she could nap. I also showered and finally got out of my jammies. You cannot get anything done when you have 4 kids! Each one of them needs you all the time for something: showing you what they have made, asking you to help with something, asking that I tie Rosie up so she won't bother them, needing a drink, help doing ponytails, it is amazing. I guess if you have 4 all the time you get used to it and work things out but for me I was mesmerised!

Shortly after the girls came home from the park Hollis, Grace and Trevi arrived and we had lunch together here. And following lunch, yes you guessed it, more playing. Once it was time to leave it was quite sad. At one point Lily said, "It is impossible to choose a BFF out of you girls because I love you both so much." We did finally said our sad goodbyes. The girls don't know it but they will be back together very soon cos we are going to a Santa lunch together.

I had a great time with them all. It was fun, it was very tiring but most of all they loved it and they were so wonderful together. The only tough part was the morning. I do not do mornings, my girls know this but I had to jump up and smile and be happy for the others....I wasn't easy but I think they thought the cheerful persona was the real deal! Lily had her first sleepover at her house and she loved it. We must have done it right.

Waiting for the parade

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The Not So Little Mermaid

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Chinese dragon dancers

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Rosie couldn't believe her luck: Titty was there!

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This is Rosie with her "kit". This is what she needs to go to sleep.I thought thumb suckers just used their thumbs to comfort themselves not a whole inventory of supplies. We have to schlepp this lot wherever we go!

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22 Nov 2008

De-sensitization Therapy

Yesterday was Lily's allergy appointment. She wasn't able to have the venom testing done as she is still testing positive for the venom from last Sunday. They did quite a few tests on her and we ended up with 2 more Epi-pens and lots more information.

It looks as if she will have to have de-sensitization therapy. She will receive one shot a week for five frickin' years. At the end of the 5 years she will no longer be allergic to wasps, bees, ants or anything else that stings for that matter and she will remain that way for about 20 yrs. But I just don't know. Of course the alternative, anaphylactic shock isn't very appealing either. If any of you know anyone who has done this therapy I would love to hear from them.

It appears that Asians are very allergic but so to is the rest of the population now. I enjoyed talking with the doctor and feel that she really knows her stuff.

Hubbies fast driving time and the fact that we had good people with us when this happened saved Lily.

This is alot to digest right now and I am going to be looking into all the ways to treat this that I can find so feel free to leave a comment even if you only know someone who knows someone. I will take anything.

Off to prepare for a day with lots of friends and little girlies and to get ready for Lily's sleepover tonight. Wish me luck!

19 Nov 2008

They Always Keep You Laughing

The girls have bought so much into our lives. I could go on and on and list all their wonderful attributes but it is the spontaneous laughter that they cause that has me smiling all of the time.

Rosie has added a new word to her vocabulary. It is Titty. She hells it really loud because she is always so happy to see a titty. I of course just giggle and encourage her to say it again and again just like a naughty child. You see, the teller at the bank, who just loves the girls, went shopping at Sanrio and bought both girlies some Hello Kitty things. They love them and Rosie just adores her Hello Kitty stuffed toy. So whenever she sees it she yells with glee, Titty. But other people have Hello Kitty merchandise as well and we see it frequently in our day to day meanderings and Rosie always yells out when she recognises it.

Bad Mama.

17 Nov 2008

Lily Update

It's never as easy as you think!

At the end of the day yesterday I was so thankful that this episode was behind us and thankful to know all that we knew and to have Lily safely tucked in to bed and sleeping soundly. Once I arrived at school this morning I had to fill out lots of paperwork and was also given a form to be filled out by her pediatrician. I rang her office and she said to bring Lily in cos she wanted to check her out for herself. I picked Lily up from school, grabbed the forms, a copy of the prescriptions and off we went.

Lily checked out fine. She does not like the reaction on her skin from the bites and and of course she still has some hives left over. She determined that Lily needs to go and see an allergist because with this episode and her nasty reaction to mossy bites she feels that she is going to be allergic to bees etc and the next reaction is probably not going to be very pleasant. She gave us a prescription for some more meds. Lily has to stay on the steroids for a few more days and I also learnt that an allergic reaction like this can happen again within anytime for the the next 4-5 days...oh joy!

Since I posted this yesterday I have heard from a lot of parents of Chinese children who are also allergic to bites. Apparently it is very common amongst them.

We see the allergist on Friday and if I learn anything that pertains to our children in general I will share it with you.

Lily is fine and rather pleased with her EpiPen? We have told her it isn't a toy and she gets that but she just really loves having one. Nut case. She wasn't at all happy to find out that it will be locked away in the nurses office at school and that she won't be carrying it around in her book bag.

She is 6 and this has never happened before so in my overly optimistic opinion it won't be happening again!

16 Nov 2008

The Best Laid Plans

As you know if you read yesterday's post, today was our national adoption day picnic and we were excited about it. The kiddos were up bright and early and things were wonderful. I headed into the shower, Jacob was loading the car and the girls were playing upstairs. As I was drying my hair I could hear Lily saying to Rosie, "here is a drawer for you to close", I figured that since Rosie loves to close drawers Lily was opening them and Rose was shutting them, no biggy.
All of a sudden I heard a blood curdling scream, I dropped my hair dryer and shot into my bedroom to find that somehow they had knocked over/pulled over Jacobs huge chest of drawers and it was resting on them. I screamed, which is really unusual cos I am the voice of calm and reason in bad situations and Jacob came running. I had righted the chest and grabbed Rosie who was bleeding from a cut on her face and yanked Lily out of the way. Jacob ran to Lily and I tended to Rose.

I calmed down instantly and checked out both of the girlies thoroughly. They both got smacked in the face by the drawers and were sporting small cuts and bruises but that was it! It is what it is and yes it could have been much worse but it wasn't. Enough said.

We headed off to the picnic, better late than never and as soon as we arrived I asked Hollis if our social worker was coming. She said. yes. so I said, Oh Cwap! Our SW is fabulous and of course she noticed the cuts and Lily's eye which is now black and we joked about how I really shouldn't beat my kids.

The picnic was going really well and loads of people that we haven't seen for ages were there. We all talked and the kids played and Rosie was running around like one of the crowd. I met a really nice lady called Ana and we chatted for ages cos she wants to move to the Special Needs program and wanted information on that. (the red thread comes into play here)

Lily was having such a lovely time playing ball, playing on the playground, blowing bubbles, whirling her hula hoop and basically just enjoying her friends. At one point Jacob was watching Lily and I was watching Rose when Lily comes up to me wearing her dad's shirt. She told me she had fallen over in a red ant nest and daddy was making sure there weren't any more ants on her clothes. I asked if she was OK and she said she was but very itchy. Not five minutes later Jacob is carrying her over to me and she is crying and scratching like mad. I started to talk to her but she was really upset so we went to the car so I could take off all her clothes and have a look myself. Once I sat her down I realised that she was covered in hives. I asked a friends hubby to look at her as he is a paramedic and he told Jacob to go and get some Benedryll quickly. Jacob took off with Rosie and I stayed with Lily and watched as her little body got bigger and bigger and her eyes started to swell shut. I kept wiping her down with really cold water on paper towels and under my breathe I was begging Jacob to drive faster. She could still breathe properly and that wasn't changing so I hoped she would be fine. Another Mum came over and told me to dial 911 but I didn't. Jacob appeared with the goods and that is where the red thread with Ana comes into play. It turns out she is a nurse practitioner so I called her over to the car and asked her to look at Lily. Ana said it was pretty bad and to give her a massive dose of Benedryll. We also used topical benedryll and within about 10 minutes things started to calm down. Lily was instantly wiped out by the meds but she wanted to stay. Ana said that she must stay on the antihistamine all night cos the swelling could come back and could get much worse.

Obviously we had to leave but Lily really didn't want to. After about 10 minutes she got really sick so that was it. We headed home. I rang our Dr. from the car and she said to take her to an urgent care clinic because of the facial swelling. I dropped Jacob off at home and Lily and I went straight out. As we were waiting to see the Dr. her hives back back with a vengeance and her face started to swell again, needless to say we were seen immediately. My little trooper is on a very heavy dose of steroids for the next 4 days, she received even more antihistamines from the Dr. and is now in a drug induced sleep and feeling much better. She now has to carry an Epi-pen everywhere she goes and we have been warned that next time it happens the reaction will most likely be much faster and much worse.

Since she has a really nasty reaction to mosquito bites we have always thought that she might be allergic to ants and bees and now we know for sure. The good side of this, cos you know me, Miss Silver Lining, is that this happened when we were around medical professionals so we were able to deal with it very quickly. If something like this has to happen make sure you have good people around.LOL

All Lily has had to say about it is, "wow, I am just like Grandpa. If I keep the bees away from him he can keep the ants away from me."

This has been one of the longest days I can remember. Jacob just made me laugh because he said, "this day just had the Emergency department written all over it right from the second we woke up". And so in the scheme of things the dresser falling on the girls was not a big deal but those tiny weeny little ants, damn they were huge! Oh and the dresser....securely anchored to the wall, now!

I think I have photos somewhere but I need to hit the chocolate so I will post them later.

15 Nov 2008

Stuff and Things

I have noticed that my blogging is very sporadic. It would seem that I only blog from Thursday through Sunday? The rest of the week is to damned fast!

We are all learning a new language. It is fun but very challenging sometimes. It is the language of Rose Qi Min. She is talking very well all things considered and she cannot go up a flight of stairs without counting them. This is how it goes:
won, do, fee, war, ive, yix, yea yea, ate, nie, den. And then she gives herself a huge round of applause and of course we join in. Actually she always says the number eight after every single number but what the heck she is brilliant in our opinion! Perhaps she says the number eight all the time because eight is considered lucky in China.

Not only are we learning a new language but we are also learning to take things slower, much slower because she has learnt to say, Ro-ree do it. So everything is now taking a kazillion times longer cos Rosie has to do it herself. It is very very sweet and I love it.

If there are any teachers out there reading this please give your opinion on gifted programs. We have to decide within the next couple of weeks whether to put Lily into the gifted program. She is in the advanced class now and would leave that and enter the gifted class for social studies, language arts and science. The rest of her classes would remain the regular ones as they don't offer gifted across the board. If we put her in it she will leave the advanced class and will go to a regular class and will have math etc in that, which makes no sense to us. Also if we pull her from gifted at any time she will not go back to the advanced class but will go to the main stream class, again it makes no sense. Ahh, dilemmas.

This afternoon Lily had the best time playing with a cardboard box. First she did this:

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And later she got very creative and did this. She spent ages doing it and had a blast and this evening both of them were running around in it until Rosie scared herself.

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(note to self. Buy more foil and tape at the store)

Lil' is still very much enjoying her American Girl books and tonight she learnt all about Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret when they were younger. As we walked up to bed she was talking in her English accent and I was the queen and she was princess Elizabeth. At one point I said to her, "How do you do?" in a really proper British accent and she just lost it. She couldn't even talk she was laughing so hard. So as she giggled herself silly I explained to her that in England you don't say, "Hi, nice to meet you", you say, "Hello, how do you do". When she finally stopped laughing she said, "Why do you say, "how is your doo?". Egads....she kills me!

We were watching an old DVD of Lily yesterday and I am in shock. She is huge and so "six" now. She used to have the cutest little squeaky voice. It is so eye opening to see how fast she has grown, how much she has learnt and how sweet and kind she has become. When we first bought her home we were convinced she was the bouncer at the orphanage!

Tomorrow is going to be a really wonderful day as we are celebrating National Adoption Day with a South Florida Asia Group picnic. This time last year Andie was with us and we were being very tight lipped about a certain little girl in China who we had fallen madly in love with and who's files we were schlepping all over town to every medical professional we could find.

I bought Rosie a new bib today. I love it because this is what it says on it: My Mom's Hotter Than Your Mom! No self esteem problems around these parts! Bwa ha ha ha.

Our tickets for Annie arrived today. Lily and I are going alone, it is going to be our special day. When I told her about it she just wanted to know what kind of snacks they have at the Arsht Centre and if she could wear a dress. In February her and Jacob are going to see Cirque again. I might just crash their day cos I love Cirque Du Soliel.

This post has hopped about more than a cat on a hot tin roof. Sea sick yet?

14 Nov 2008

Eggrolls And Chopsticks Part Two

As I mentioned yesterday my blog book is now finished. I have part one and part two and I must say that part two came out even better than the first. I really didn't think I would be as amazed and or excited this time around but I was wrong.

I loved the first one but honestly thought that the paper could have been of a higher quality. This time however it is top notch and the quality is first class.

If you have a blog I strongly urge you to have it turned into a book. This is Lily and Rosie's story and they can sit down and thumb through the pages and see what they did when they were little and all the bumps in the road on our journey to adopt Rosie. I know I have all this stuff is on my computer but it just isn't the same.

Lily had no idea that we were using one of her drawings for the front cover so when she saw it she was elated.

Amy and Kristen from book my blog are real troopers and worked so hard on this book. Apparently this is the biggest one they have ever done due to all the photos. Amy, and I am sure she won't mind me saying so, is a perfectionist. All the photos have to be lined up just so and all the text needs to be in perfect alignment otherwise it just isn't good enough. If you are thinking of doing it and have questions either leave them in the comment section for me or click the link to Book My Blog and ask the pro's.

I love, love, love it!
Here is the first part.

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Here is the part deux.

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The back cover

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I just love that Lily's referral photo actually made it onto the blog and then into the book.

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Our Trip to China bound forever.

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It is so strange to have everyday of my life in book form. There is no way you can remember the day to day stuff and some of things that we did or that happened had completely slipped my mind.

Do it you will be so happy that you did.

And on a totally different subject: Miss Rosie no longer drinks out of a bottle. I have been telling her for the past month that she is a big girl and that baby's use bottles. I told her that her bottles needed to go into the rubbish. So I did the switch and so far so good. Of course I am not going back on it and tomorrow we will have the throwing out ceremony. ( for those of you out there who are astonished that at 21 months she was still using a bottle calm your little selves down and remember that she was in an orphanage for 12 months and the only nutrition that she got came from her bottle. It was also a great comfort to her and a wonderful way to bond.) But enough is enough. It is sad in away cos it is the first step away from babyhood and she is my baby even though she is getting so big.

13 Nov 2008

Honouring Lily

When Lily teachers need to tell us something they place the letters in her homework folder and she brings them home. Sometimes she knows the notes are there and other times she is clueless. On Monday I opened her folder and there were 2 notes. The first one was an invitation to a ceremony honouring her for having perfect attendance and the second one was an invitation to a ceremony honouring her for her GPA. The award ceremony was this morning.

She looks a little bit proud don't ya think?

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I love the way she is peeking around the side of her certificate to make sure we can see here.

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Lost in thought

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Here is her certificate.

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Schnoogie, we are very proud of you. What you don't realise yet because you are too little is that you have set the standard very high for yourself by achieving these grades so young! I hope that you continue to love school and learning, I am sure you will as it is who you are.

We bought her a new set of the American Girl book series as a reward. Talking of the American girl series, she loves them. She cannot wait to have her bath so that she can settle down and read about their latest adventure. Tonight we read about Molly and the blitz in London in 1944. When I walked her up to bed she wanted to turn the lights off so that she could pretend it was a blackout. Once we found the bed she climbed in and I followed, under her strict instructions. She pulled the covers over our heads and then suddenly announced, "bombs away!" and made an explosion sound. She was even talking with a British accent. She made me laugh so much that I was crying. By the time I kissed her goodnight we were both out of breathe from all the giggling.

Rosie didn't get to take her nap this morning because she went to Lily's school and then she had to accompany me to the doctors office. Literally seconds before we needed to pick up Lily from school exhaustion prevailed and this is what I found, on the floor no less:

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I love this photo

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Why did we go to the doctors office? Because my eye is screwed up again. I got 2 whole weeks without any steroids at all but that is not the case now. As much as I like my Dr. I have decided it is time to seek a second opinion. This has been going on since June and I am over it, so over it. Next week I meet with a Dr. that my Dr. bought in on my case a few years back. He is a corneal expert and I had forgotten all about him. Keep everything crossed please. I am tired of looking freaky. Forget about the possible vision loss it is all about the vanity as far as I am concerned. Ok that isn't all true but look for yourself.

This is a hideous photo that was taken yesterday and I was talking as Jenny took it but it shows my eyes. Now my eyelid is starting to droop....eeewwwww!

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My second blog book arrived and it is even more wonderful than the first one. More about that tomorrow.

11 Nov 2008

My Heart Needs A Band Aid

As the parent of adopted children somewhere in the back of my mind always looms the horrid conversations that will, with all likelihood, happen when the girls are teenagers. I know that I am jumping the gun a little bit by thinking that far ahead but I think it is self preservation. Plan for the worst and hope for the best: words that Jakey and I live by.

As I have mentioned many times before Lily is wise well beyond her years and has a very deep soul. Tonight after the girls were out of the bath I was combing Lily's hair and she in turn was combing Rosie's. The following conversation took place.

Lily: Mummy, look at all this new hair that is growing on Rosie's head.
Me: I see it but it still isn't as much as is still growing on your 6 yr old head.
Lily: Let me see if you have any.
Me: I don't but I do have this funny hair here that is called baby hair that is always really blonde and never grows any longer than an inch.
Lily: Why do you still have baby hair?
Me: I don't know. Grandpa has it too.
Lily: Maybe I got mine from my birthmother.
Me: Yes, maybe you did.
Lily: I have got a lot of things from my "real" parents.
Me: I thought we were your real parents?
Lily: No, they are. They gave me birth or whatever it is called.
Me: That's true they did but usually when you have birthparents and adoptive parents the adoptive ones are the "real" ones. We are the ones that love you and ...
Lily:(butting in) They love me too.
Me: Yes they do, very much.
Lily: So they are my real parents.

I wasn't ready for that. I went on to tell her that she can call them and us whatever she likes because it is her life and her story. I didn't want to appear shocked or upset because I need her to be able to tell me and ask me anything and if she thinks she has hurt my feelings or made me sad she won't be truthful she will be protective. My irrational brain went into overdrive and I felt like a child myself and wanted to beg her to say she loves us more. I know that is dreadfully childish and believe me, I didn't react the way my heart wanted to. I felt like I had been jilted by my first love. Such strange emotions were stirred up and within seconds I thought, she wants to go back to China, she feels "different" because she is adopted, she is confused, oh my God she isn't happy. I understand she has questions and she knows she can ask us. More than anything in the world I don't ever want her to be hurt. I didn't push the issue and when she was done talking I carried on as usual but if anyone has a band aid for my heart I really need it.

The conversation continued for a little bit longer and she aired her feelings. We have always been very honest with her about her story and nothing that she says should surprise me but I just didn't expect this yet. I rang my friend Hollis who is so good at keeping her head and dealing with situations that arise out of the clear blue sky and we talked for ages. We have loads of books about adoption but she suggested one that I have never heard of and it is now being overnighted from the fine folks at Amazon. I want to bring the subject up again because I now have a clearer head and will be better able to deal with it. I know you don't get "do overs" in real llife but I am going to try and do this over and see if I can work out where this statement came from.

When I tucked her into bed and kissed her she said, I love you, you're the best Mother in the world. Thanks Schnoogie, I'll take it.

6 Nov 2008

Tally Ho

I haven't posted any photos of Lily riding lately and she has really improved. Tonight she got to ride her favourite horse, Marquesa. She is so natural on horses and tonight her instructor and I talked about entering her into a competition. She has to be 7 to in order to qualify so Frenchie is starting to groom her now. Yikes, I have a feeling I am about to be increasing my rates!

Smiley, Happy Lily

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Warming Up

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This is when Lily really enjoys herself: Tally Ho

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Rosie, as you are quite aware, is afraid of her own shadow. She loves to wander around all the animals at the farm but she just won't touch them. Tonight before we left I talked to her about that and asked her if she thought she might be able to touch a horse tonight. She bebopped out of the car and ran behind Lily over to the horses. Once Lily was situated and feeding Marquesa her carrot I picked Rosie up and walked her over to Latin Fire, possibly the most docile horse in the world, and she reached out and stroked her muzzle. Then she touched her neck and was very proud of herself. I think we are getting somewhere. The biggest shock of all came when Frenchie picked her up and held her for about 3 minutes. I pretended not to notice because I knew if Rose saw me looking she would motion to come back to me.

Rosie has been very slow to warm up to people. I have one child who is an extrovert and one who is an introvert, at least for now. She is making progress and we do not push her. She needs to find her feet in her own time. She always has a lot more nerve if her big sister is with her but I think that is just because she wants to emulate her. We see changes in her on a daily basis and she truly is getting brave. Now when we are at the play group on Wednesdays she takes off and plays either by herself or with the big kids. She barely even looks to check I am still there.

This is what Rosie Posie got up to today whilst Lily was riding. She finds it very funny when the horses chomp on their bits or just move their lips.
If you are quick enough you can just catch the fat part of her lip from yesterdays escapade with the tile.

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After an hour or so on the farm (excuse me, I mean the Equine Academy) they need a bath!

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Did I mention she likes to emulate her sister?

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