30 Jun 2009

The Family Has Arrived.

Yesterday the rest of my family arrived for the funeral. The are so many of us and even more that are not family who are going to miss Uncle John. The funeral is going to be huge and not something that is going to be easy for any of us but I think we are as ready as we can be and at this point we all just want it over. I know I do. You can't change the inevitable and it is time. Daddy and Uncle Brian are both so snippy that Andie and I wish they were female so that they could better handle their emotions!

Last night Stephen, Sally and the girls arrived and then Andie, followed by Sally and Colin and even auntie Ann and Uncle Brian came over and before long there were 15 of us having dinner and after the little ones had gone to bed we sat around and laughed and talked and regaled each other with foolish stories as only we can. I think this family is certifiable. It was a good night and a much needed one. I couldn't sleep last night, probably because their is going to be a queue for the showers this morning and I want to make sure I get in early LOL so I have been up since five which considering what time we went to bed isn't good.

Our girlies are fine. Lily and her Grandpa are joined at the hip, as always. Rosie is also loving him. Nannis is also where the sun rises and sets. Rose is alot more reserved than at home and has a huge case of mummy -itis which is getting hard since my arm might fall off at any point. Auntie Ann removed her stitches and she didn't even squeak.

I had better go and have a shower before all hell breaks loose I hear other people stirring.

21 Jun 2009

And Right Then The Fun Ended.

While we were vacationing in New England Andie and I received word that our Uncle had been taken into hospital. We were concerned but not surprised.  Each day her mum would email us with updates and we kept my cellphone with us at all times, which, if you know me, is unheard of. When Andie flew home she went to visit him and he was getting better so each day I grew less and less concerned and we continued with our plans. 

After a great day at the water park on Thursday I received an email from Andie telling me Uncle John was home so I left to go for dinner with some people that we met in China when we adopted Rosie in really good spirits. We had a super evening and seeing how much Mei Mei had grown and changed was just wonderful. By the time we got back to our hotel the girlies were wiped out so we put them to bed and they slept really late the next morning. The hotel didn't have a cot for Rosie, well they did but it was missing a part and we deemed it unsafe so we opted for a bed for her instead and the girls slept together in what they called the "tooty" bed. We zoomed down to breakfast and then rushed out of the hotel for provisions before heading back to the park for the day.

We spent another fabulous day at Adventure Island with the girls and just had a really brilliant day. Even Rosie became a huge fan of the lazy river and the water slides and yet again no one got hurt.  We stayed much later than we anticipated because Rosie even took a nap there. Once we returned to the hotel Jacob turned on our phones and the computer and I was about to jump in the shower with the girls when he told me he needed me to listen to a message on his phone and read an email. I could tell by the look on his face that it I wasn't going to like it and I was correct. My uncle had collapsed and died. I think I just stared at him for ages. I still can't really get my head around it and until I get home I don't think I will.
By this time it was almost 11pm in the U.K. and they had called at 2pm.  I rang my fathers house cos they go to bed late and this is my fathers brother so I know he would be up.  My father and his brother were close and always called each other brother John and brother David, never just David and John. Funny huh? We talked and decided there was no point in me leaving right there and then as it was the weekend and everything in the UK closes over the weekend so the earliest anything would happen would be Monday.  I told Lily what had happened, in a child friendly way and we sort of clanged out way through the rest of the evening and headed home first thing on Saturday. 

We finally arrived here around 5ish and had only been home for about 3 minutes when we realised something was wrong. Our phones were searching for a phone line and things just seemed off. The fricking house had been struck by *lightening while we were gone. Of all the times to have no phones, no computers, no wireless....EGADS. As were were bringing the stuff in from the car we saw the roof tiles in the front yard and that is when we realised exactly what had happened. At this point I am really swearing at the bloody 4 leaf clover! Jacob suddenly cracked up laughing and said, " The house got struck by lightening and that is the good news of the past 24 hours." I thought it was really funny as well. So out came the cell phones and we rang my family and told them not to email us or ring the house with details but to keep ringing the cell phones. I rang a friend and retrieved my email via her and Jacob called C0mcast and asked them to come and fix our little snafu but they said there offices were shut until Monday but he said he didn't think so and they needed to get over here fast. They did, but not so fast!
Finally the kiddies were fed, bathed and ready for bed and I was unpacking and getting ready to start repacking so we will be ready to head out again when we need to.

Fathers Day was not going to be the grande affair that I wanted it to be but Jakey was fine with that so we made him brekky in bed and gave him his cards and a few tokens of our thankfulness and then waited for the repairman. Lily and I went to the store to get some necessary things and as we walked back in Rosie came running over to meet us and somehow and none of us know exactly what happened she knocked a lead crystal vase off of the hall table and it smashed into smithereens showering her in glass. I dropped the groceries picked her up and knew instantly she needed stitches. I took her into the kitchen and asked Jacob, in a very calm voice, to get me a clean towel. He was buzzing about like a bee and instead of heading for a towel he literally walked around the island 3 times. As I am applying pressure to a screaming Rosie and waiting for a clean towel to wrap around her arm and hand he is falling apart. Rosie is covered in glass so I can't move her to much as I don't want to cut her any more than she already is. I looked at Lily and asked her to go into her bathroom and get me a clean hand towel or a few washcloths and I didn't mind what she bought. Within seconds she was back and Jacob was still marching around the island?? 

I assessed Rosie and decided we had to go to the E.R. so I asked Lily to get the diaper bag and my purse, Rosies blankie and her bunny and then I asked Jacob to drive. Rosie had stopped crying and I was able to ask her what hurt and she just kept showing me her arm so I figured nothing else got injured. She has one cut on her arm that required stitches and one on her finger that has been taped in this odd plastic wrap typed stuff. She has lots of little cuts where the shards punctured her skin but they are not bad. She was a really brave little girl until the topical numbing agent didn't work and the Dr. started digging around for a piece of glass inside her arm and at that point she let us all have it and then I let him have it. I was polite but I felt I needed to point out that she could obviously feel what he was doing so he waited until she had stopped crying and then poked her with the tweezers while she was looking the other way and when she pulled her arm away and screamed he agreed with me. He was very nice so he is forgiven. At least when the stitches need to come out we will be in the UK so Andie can do them for her and if she doesn't want the job Andies mum Ann is a nurse too so she will be in good hands and caring ones to boot.

So that has been the last 48 hours. I am fried and I just keep repeating, the house got struck by lightening and that is the good news! We are heading over to the UK soon and I am not sure how long we will be gone. I am going to work tomorrow for a few hours because, to be frank, vacations don't agree with me. LOL

*Most of our electronics got fried and in case you don't live in Florida: yes we do have surge protectors but they only protect from electricity surges. When lightening strikes nothing protects you. We obviously have a guardian angel otherwise our house could have gone up in flames or we could have lost all the appliances as well. We only lost the T.v downstairs, the VCR (yay) one DVD player, the phones, the printer, the modem, but that brand spanking new imac was unplugged. Jakey must have had a premonition. Oh yeah, the roof, the one we just fixed the day before we left for vacation...it isn't looking so good.

18 Jun 2009

Fun And No Calamities

That shocked you didn't it!
We spent the whole day at Adventure Island which is a water park and we escaped unscathed. I have loads of great photos but we failed to bring the cords for the camera with us.
Lily appears to have gained a little respect for larger than life rides after the incident at Attitash last weekend because today her and I climbed to the tippy top of a water slide carrying tubes to slide down on and when we were the next to slide down she changed her mind. We were able to walk across the top of the slide and slide down another one which was just as high but this one was enclosed as opposed to open so to her it felt safer. I hope this newly gained respect lasts just a little longer.
Her wounds are all healing so well in fact they are nearly gone.
Off to get my beauty rest because we are back to the parks at some dark hour in the morning but I just wanted to check in and let you know  we are still kicking.

16 Jun 2009

Lucky Leaf My Ar*e

We are back home and I should probably add, safe and sound! We were listed for an 11.am flight yesterday morning and for the first time ever the flight was full and we couldn't get on it. Jacob and I have travelled alot and have never been turned away from a flight. It didn't faze us in the least cos as you know we just roll with the punches and there was another one at 2pm but that one wasn't looking very good either and then there was another one at 7.pm and that was wide open so we knew we would get home at some point.

I was shocked that we didn't get on a flight and surprised at all the bad luck we had been having and then it hit me like a tonne of bricks. The first day we were in Massachusetts I found a 4 leaf clover. I placed it very carefully in the diaper bag and had been carrying it with us wherever we went. All these little accidents that we had had, had happened after I found this so called lucky leaf! Right there and then in the middle of the airport I ripped everything out of the bag until I found my treasure and without a second glance I instructed Lily to throw it in the nearest rubbish bin. She reluctantly did so and asked my why so I told her it was bad luck. Jacob laughed and said that only the Irish get luck from 4 leaf clovers and I am English so what did I expect!

We went and ate lunch bought the kids some souvenirs in the airport shops and then attempted to get on the very heavy 2pm flight. Well, what do you know? Our luck had changed and we boarded and not only did we board an over booked flight but we all sat together and no one got hurt, maimed or otherwise injured, Rosie went straight to sleep, Lily travelled with her usual grace and Jacob and I had fun.

This morning when we woke up my grossly infected knee is looking ten times better, Lily's face is doing great and life is wonderful. I am doing heaps of washing and we are heading out of here first thing in the morning for Tampa to meet up with a family we met in China who has a little girl Lily's age who is from Rosie's orphanage and then we are taking the girls to Busch Gardens cos we need just a bit more excitement. Lily is a bit down in the mouth cos she misses Andie, Fran and Shell. Rosie keeps saying, Wheres Annie? over and over again so a quick pick me up is needed and this time if I see a 4 leaf clover I am going to jump on it and smoosh it into the ground!

Stay tuned for what we hope will only be fun tales and will not include visits with the medics, falls in the pool  and bumps to the head!

14 Jun 2009

Your Parents Were Right !

It is always fun until someone gets hurt. Did your parents say that all the time? Mine did and they were right!
Yesterday we went to Attitash and rode the alpine slide. Jacob really wanted to do this with Lily as he had gone there when he was just a tyke and wanted to go back with his kidlets.
Just as we were arriving Rosie fell asleep in the car so I let the others go off without me and once Rosie woke up we joined the fun. By this time Lily and Jacob had gone on the slide 3 times and were quite expert. Lily was a hair to short to have her own toboggan so she had to ride with Jacob and Rosie was allowed to ride with one of us also. You go up the mountain in a ski lift and once at the top you slide down. The ski lift got me a little jiggy. I am an adventure seeker but having 2 little one puts thing into perspective and as I was freaking out and making sure Lily was holding on with both hands her and Jacob were making fun of me!
After we got to the top and got our toboggans we headed down the slide. I went with Rosie, rather slowly, as  these sleds reach speeds of 40 mph. She giggled the whole way down and it was great fun. Jacob and Lily were waiting at the bottom chanting, slow poke!
We went again and this time Lily wanted to take me down. Jacob said to let her drive cos she was very good at it and they told me to not tell her to slow down. (Bad Move) So off we went again.
Before I go any further let me show you some pictures of the fun!

Going up!

The slow pokes

The speed demons

Now as you know Andie is with us and she chose to bow out of the fun and sit in the sun listening to her ip0d instead.
If you are squeamish stop here because I am going into detail and showing some piccies of my trooper.

Lily and I climbed on the toboggan with her in the drivers seat and me in the back. She took off like a bat out of hell and I screamed slow down, she was scaring the pants off of me. We took the first bend way to fast and before I knew it we were heading into the second turn. I was screaming again and she was laughing when suddenly our sled flipped over and we were airborne. We landed hard and she landed on her face, my cheek whacked the fibreglass and I really felt it but i needed to get to Lily. When we flipped were travelling between 30 and 40 mph and now were were sliding on our skin! Lily was face down and I was trying to lift her face up. I couldn't reach her and it was killing me. Somehow we finally stopped and she looked at me and said. "why did you do this to us?" I nearly cried right there and right then. My baby girls face was all bloody and she was screaming. I ripped her off off the slide grabbed the sled out of the way and waited a few seconds for Jacob. His face, now as I look back, was priceless, his baby and wifey wrecked, and he is barrelling towards us with Rosie in his lap. I grabbed Rosie from him, placed Lily in his arms and told him to get her to the medics, FAST. I then put our sled back on the track put Rosie in my lap and we went as fast as I dared to the bottom where Andie stood with her mouth wide open pointing to the first aid area. I ran like hell to get to Lily.

Once in the medic area they started to work on Lily. Everything is superficial her face is wrecked, her elbows and knees have no skin left and somehow she cut open her ear...that part remains the mystery. The chap was very gentle with her but dear lord did it hurt. She was so brave. Her lips were swelling but it appeared her teeth were intact. After an eternity her and I hobbled out of the tent. At one point she looked at me and said, Mummy, you have a big hole in your shirt. It relieved alot of tension and we all cracked up. I don't have any skin on one knee ditto my right elbow. My elbow has 3 burns on it where you can clearly see how I was changing positions to try and get to Lily. My hand got messed up but compared to Lily it is a piece of cake.

Once we were all recovered Jacob decided he needed to get rid of some tension and he wanted one more go, by himself so he took off again and we headed to the car. To make a long story short when he finally arrived back at the car I walked out to meet him and noticed his shirt was ripped, his jeans were filthy and ripped and he was bleeding. EGADS he had wrecked too! Lots of burns but he is fine. We have lots of clothes to throw away now and on the way back home we saw an outlet mall so Jacob took Lily into Gy*mboree to buy her any dress she wanted, to make her feel better. What a guy!

Here she is all battered and bruised. These were taken this morning after her bath. The ones from yesterday are a bit grim for public viewing. I am just glad that I always travel with my trusty Germolene. (My Canadian readers might know what it is, my family does and all my US friends are now addicted to it also. It is an ointment for cuts, burns, bites, etc for the UK and I cannot live without it is a miracle worker.) Andie just bought me 2 tubes with her and laughed that we have used one already this trip with all the calamities so she will post me another.

It really is all fun until someone gets hurt!
I loaded her up with M0trin last night and she was fine. Her bath freaked her out big time but she was OK and she is doing much better now. We leave the North East tomorrow, some might say it is a good thing. We are going to miss the Aunties an awful lot. We will Miss Andie too much, cos for a change she isn't coming home with us. Today we are just staying safe! Well that is the plan, wish us luck.

12 Jun 2009

Flying By.

Vacations fly by much too fast!
We headed up to Maine on Wednesday to meet up with Jacobs cousin Joan and also to see Maine. This part of the country is beautiful and thanks to the fine folks at LL. Beanie we were able to enjoy being outside once again as we are now all decked out in Polarte*c. Florida clothing just isn't designed for this kind of weather and even though we were layering our clothes we were still really cold. 
We met Joan at the University of Maine, where she works and promptly headed out of her office and straight on to the beach and walked to the lighthouse. What a great view to have from your office.

Jacob and Joan. (my fingers were so cold that it took me so long to take the picture that it appears that Joan fell asleep!)

We had a great time navigating the rocks to reach the lighthouse

We needed to stay closer to home yesterday so we went to the Boston Childrens Museum. We have been to the Miami Childrens Museum a few times but it pales in comparison to this one. The kidlets had hours and hours of fun. We literally spent the day there.

For some reason the photos are being silly and anyones that I took sideways and then turned around when I downloaded them are coming out sideways so it is limiting my choices...weird.

Lily in the area of the museum where you get to experience life with various disabilities. She tried them all and was useless in the wheelchair. Hopefully she'll never need one.

Rosie on The Job Site.

Today we are celebrating yet another birthday, mine, and in order to do it up right we needed to spend the day with the aunties because it just wouldn't be fair if only Lily got to have that much fun on her special day. We met them for lunch at the most amazing Chinese restaurant I have ever been to. Even they said they have never seen me eat so much ever. I might not look like I eat a lot but if I like something you had better stand back. I have even won bets before on how much I can pack into this little body.

The girlies with their aunties.

My Cake....cute huh?

After lunch we went back to Frans house and the sun came out. I was shocked but it did so we went out on the deck and of course the kids wanted to get in the pool but we wouldn't let them cos it is too cold for them so they made do with laying on the deck like this....

I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happened next. We figured it would happen and we figured it would be Rosie and we were right. There were 5 adults and all of us can swim and Lily can swim really well too so we just kept a close eye on her and she leaned to far forward and with a minimal splash she was in. Jacob jumped up leaned in and fished her out by her leg. This is how she looked.....

At first she didn't cry but then she got really upset and it took a few minutes to calm her down and find out why she suddenly got so sad. She was sad cos she wasn't allowed to stay in the water!! So we stripped her off and Lily too and they had fun.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Attitash because we are not leaving the NE without conquering that darned alpine slide and tomorrow is opening day. Yippeeeeeee 6 more hours in the car. Thank heavens for swivel seats, DVD players and road trip food....it keeps the kids happy.

9 Jun 2009

Not Quite What Daddy Had Planned.

We have many things planned for this trip that the girls don't know about because we love the element of surprise and watching their little faces when they see something really amazing in their eyes. Yesterday was meant to be one of those days for Lily. We were driving 2 1/2 hours away to Attitash to an alpine slide. Well, we drove and we drove and we finally got there only to find out they haven't opened yet for the summer......SAY WHAT? Well we were not going to be beaten so we plugged back in the GPS and headed up to Mount Washington instead. Not much fun for Rosie but she doesn't care and just goes along with everything.  The car we have hired has the swivel back seats so the kids find that to be entertainment in itself.
Rosie facing back to front in her swivel seat.

Ditto Lily.

The enormous hire car

As we climbed up and up the 6288 feet to the summit there were many gasps and oohs from various parts of the car but the funniest bit was when Lily in a really tiny voice asked, Am I going to die today? Now probably most parents wouldn't laugh at this but honestly it was hysterical and having Andie with us just made it funnier since her comment was, well lets just say the odds are higher than yesterday.

We reached the top and it was freezing and I mean freezing...not funny.

On top of the world

We stayed a few minutes and hopped back in the car where we blasted the heat and headed back down the treacherous mountain.  We had to make a little pit stop so that Lilipop could play in the snow. It was much to cold to Rosie so her and I stayed in the car or close to it and collected pebbles which she won't let me throw away? These pictures were taken from a long way away so they are not great but you get the jist. Lily in the snow in June....insane!

I know you can't tell it is Lily Jacob and Andie but it really is. On one else was idiotic enough to park their car and trek half a mile to a patch of snow so seriously you know it is them!

Today it is lashing rain and is very cold so we are staying close to the hotel and finding some adventures here to conquer.
Stay tuned for more adventures shortly.

6 Jun 2009

Happy Birthday Lily.

It doesn't seem to matter how hard I try to deny it, it happens anyway. Lily turned 7 today. In honor of the occasion we hopped on a plane and flew to Massachusetts where we met up with cousin Andie, who flew in from England, and we celebrated the occasion at the American Girl store.

Lily bought her doll Ivy Ling who she had an appointment to have her hair done at 11.am.

Then it was back downstairs to the boutique to buy Ivy a new dress for Chinese New Year and some other much needed accessories. Lily was in heaven and her eyes were popping out of her head and she was just so much fun to watch as she raced from one area to another. She received lots of spending money this year because everyone knew about this trip so she was able to buy lots more books as well as the things for her doll. After all this shopping a girl needs nourishment so we headed back upstairs to the very, very pink bistro for a spot of lunch. This part was a hoot as the dolls get to sit at the table too and the restaurant provided an Itty Bitty Asian baby doll for Rosie to keep her company during lunch. The food was really great which was and the whole experience was first rate. Lunch ended with the wait staff singing happy birthday to Lily.

After many hours at the store Lily was finally able to tear her self away and was still able to carry all her purchases herself, albeit barely. It was then time to start the second part of her birthday with her Aunties Fran and Shell. Fran and shell are family friends of Jacob and are mother and daughter. We love these two nutters to bits and get to see them so rarely. When we arrived at the house they weren't there so we rang and they told us to come back in 30 minutes as they had been called in to work. They lied!!!! They were home but were still decorating the house for Lily's party. We went to the store and went back and that was when we found out what the crazy nutters had done. We spent the rest of the day with them having even more fun. Do I even need to mention how tired my kids are? No, I didn't think so.

Rosie, relaxing at auntie Fran's

Auntie Shell and the girls

Now this should have been enough fun for anyone one in one day but the aunties needed to sure that lily was having fun on her birthday so they decided we should head to Salem Willows so off we went. We added one of Daddy's college friends to the mix and ended up with this motley looking group!

Now if Rosie is looking a little bit weary here she has every reason. She has just fallen through the back of the bench, whacked her head really really hard on the cement and smacked and cut her elbow. She cried so much. She is fine but it hurt her. We didn't realise until we got her undressed for her bath that she also skinned her back.....it just isn't fair she is so little and so scrawny and everything always happens to her!

Now my girls are both sleeping. Lily had a wonderful birthday...she was a little over tired at the end of the day which is something that we try to avoid at all costs but sometimes things just happen. Tomorrow is another day and we will keep it calm well we will try to but luckily we are seeing the aunties again.

2 Jun 2009

From The Mouth Of Lily

On Friday evenings after I tuck Rosie into bed Lily and I have some special time together. Sometimes we play board games, or I give her mani's and pedi's, we bake cookies or watch movies, anything that lumps us together without her little sister. Last Friday she wanted to watch a movie and more specifically, she wanted her Gotcha Day movie. She has seen it countless times but we haven't watched it for a long time as she has been more interested in Rosies Gotcha Day movie of late.

As soon as the movie started so did the barrage of questions and comments.
Wow Mummy you were as skinny as a super model back then.
Daddy was fat then.
And on and on she went but the two classics that I never want to forget are these:

As she is watching the crowded room filled with nannies and wailing babies she spotted her orphanage director and this conversation took place:

(Lily) Mrs Li looks just like Teresa
(Me) Teresa who?
(Lily) Teresa from Chinese class, James' Mommy.
(Me) No she doesn't, they don't look anything alike.
(Lily) Yes they do, all Chinese people look the same apart from Rose and Father Joe.
I laughed so hard at this. Lily has to be the only Asian person that thinks they all look alike!

And her next classic for the night was when she was watching her get her very first bath. She was still very scared and was non verbal and just going through the motions. We had explained to her why she was feeling the way she was and she understood and this is her take on it all:
(Lily) Mummy I think I was hoping I was just being rented out for the day by the orphanage and that I was not going to have to stay with you and Daddy forever.

I have said it before and I will say it again...this kid of mine is smart.
Lily Cope, I love you so very much.


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