28 Sep 2009

We Lied To the Girls.....

.....but we called it a surprise!

Back in March when we booked this cruise we decided not to tell the girls about it. We travelled with our friend Hollis and her Mum Grace and Hollis's 3 girls. On Friday morning I took Lily to school as usual but warned her that I might have to pick her up a little bit early as I thought she had a doctors appointment but I wasn't 100% sure as I needed to confirm it. I had to tell her something so that it wouldn't come as a complete surprise when she got yanked out of her classroom and I needed to remind her to bring all of her things with her if it happened.
Sure enough she had a doctors appointment, wink wink, so at 11.30 I had to pick her. I had spent the morning packing and Jacob had already loaded the suitcases into the car. We ran home and I got her changed really quickly, we woke Rosie up from a very brief snooze and piled into the car. Lily was surprised that Jacob was coming too but we explained that it was a new allergy Dr. and that daddy really wanted to know what this Dr. was all about and what his plan of action was for her. She bought the whole story hook line and sinker.
As we drove towards downtown she was more concerned that we stop and visit one of my clients on the way back from her appointment. As it became very apparent that we were in the Port of Miami I said to Jacob that he must have gone the wrong way as were in the port so Lily started to frantically read the signs and told us how to return to the city. Jacob ignored her and pulled over and handed our luggage to the men. That is when we sprung it on her. We should have video taped her little face because it was excellent and she was actually speechless and that lasted for a good five minutes. Just after we got out of the car Jacob's phone rang so I kept the kids back a little so he could talk as I guessed it was Hollis. He walked away and came back and said it was the cruise director telling us we needed to go to the 11th deck to have lunch at a restaurant there.

We made our way there but with so many people at the buffet we couldn't find our friends so Jacob had to ring them. All of a sudden I spotted Hollis and we headed towards them. The kids spotted each other and it was absolutely priceless. Her girls had no idea they were going on a cruise either and obviously didn't know we were going as well. The rest of the weekend was pure magic. We laughed, had fun and the girls just had a blast. We snorkeled, oops they snorkeled I don't do that. We swam in crystal clear sea water, we walked through the straw market in Nassau, we gambled a little, we shopped and we ate, dear God did we eat. The 5 girls got on so well all weekend long and we just relaxed well relaxed as much as you can relax when you have 5 little ones but we really did relax.

Now for the 1,000's of photos.

Welcome aboard.








Each night a photographer set up his equipment right outside the restaurant and when the girls saw him they wanted to have a little fun. There was no obligation to purchase any pictures and since Hollis is quite the photographer we didn't think we would be tempted to buy but how could we resist?





we quickly found out that it isn't as easy as it looks to get 5 kids to all look at the camera at the same time...sigh!




The girls loved these bunk beds, to play in but sleeping in them was not going to happen!


The Big Girls


Ocean fun. We had been on board the ship for about an hour when we bumped into one of Lily's classmates. We happen to really like this family and we shared this floatie thing with them that was given to us when another family left. Boys are a bit rough though so we had to take it in turns!!


And here is my absolute favourite photo of the whole weekend.....the manic swimmer!


Yesterday morning as I packed the last of the stuff and we were getting ready to say goodbye to the ship, Lily announced that this was the best vacation ever. That is saying alot because this kid has travelled alot and done alot. So glad you had fun little girl. We had alot of fun pulling the wool over your eyes and you have no idea how many times we nearly spilled the beans.

22 Sep 2009

In my head it seemed so easy........

Both the girls received a package in the post last week from their Grandparents. Lily's was from her Nannis and was a new cardigan for school. Only Nannis and Nannie Rene know exactly what sort of cardy's Lily likes to wear to school so only Nannis and Nannie Rene can make them for her. Two years ago Nannis knitted Lily a little black one and she wore it nearly every single day and the thing was looking pretty raunchy by the end of the last day of school so Nannis promised her a new one. It didn't disappoint and has already been broken in. I have no idea what the school sets the thermostat on that requires the kids to all need sweaters and sweatshirts but each and every day they trot out of school all bundled up and the outside temperature today was 93 degrees! Insane.

Rosies gift was from Grandpa and she was thrilled with it so I decided to let her thank him herself on video. It seemed like an easy task but little did I know she thought the mailman, Arthur, gave it to her! Geesh. I edited some of it so it gets a bit choppy, sorry.



thank you Nannie and grandpa, the girls are thrilled to bits with their gifts. Arthur is also thrilled to know that he gets all the credit for the good stuff that arrives in house and the happiness it causes.

20 Sep 2009

3 Word Sunday (more than 3 actually)

There was a time in this family when the expression, "Lives To Ride" was synonymous with Jacob and his Harley but now those words are tied to Lily and her horse. Oh how times have changed! This week Lily had a special lesson in which she and 11 other kids were going to be riding to the ice cream shop on horseback to buy an ice cream. Can you imagine the excitement level in this house? Suffice to say it could be measured on the Richter scale. I didn't tell her what day the ride out was because, quite frankly, I didn't need her to explode with anticipation.

First thing yesterday morning I checked our weather online before saying anything to her and was a little concerned with what I saw: thunderstorms all day and a feel like temperature of 107 degrees. Holy sh*t. Hmmm. not looking good babycakes. The weather men down here don't really ever seem to get it right so I just kept looking outside and hoping for the best. Finally at 11am I told her to go and get dressed and that her clothes were already for her. When she got to her bedroom she squealed, like a banshee.

We took her over to the farm and she was blissfully happy. It was HOT. Hell would have seemed like a better place to be and I was glad we were not going to be standing about outside watching her ride. She kissed us all goodbye and off she rode. (I off course drove in the (air conditioned) car and met everyone at the ice cream shop). I have no idea why other parents don't do this stuff. I love seeing her enjoying herself and she loves having me there and I know that won't last for much longer so I am enjoying it while it lasts! The instructors needed some help too. Buying 13 ice creams isn't easy especially since 2 of them had to stay with the kids and horses.

So here are my 3 words, finally




See the colour of her face! She was one hot sweaty mess! She drank a lot of water had a bath and was ready for a party later in the day! Phew this kid is full of energy.........good thing I am hyper too!
She isn't asleep here she was just laying like that with her eyes closed. She was really pooped.
Go here and visit Pug Mama for all the rule on 3WS and then play along too!

18 Sep 2009

Confession Time.

This post spans back a couple of decades and is humiliating.

Shortly after Jakey and I were married he had a job that involved him travelling occasionally and before one particular trip I told him that I had picked up all of the dry cleaning so if he needed any of it for his upcoming trip not to wear it. I then left the house and went to work and later that day he stopped by to see me. I was mortified when he walked in and I saw what he was wearing. Jacob used to do alot of print and T.V work. He had done a couple of commercials, a few movies and he knew how to dress but that day he looked like a freak. I asked him what had happened and he said he didn't think anything was wrong with his choices and that he didn't want to to take what he was wearing him with him on the trip. I can still remember what he had on and the colours were scary. He also still remembers and says they were fine.

Following this fashion disaster I made him take the ishihara colour blind test and to my total surprise he passed it.

A few months ago we were sitting down on the couch one evening being utterly silly on Faceb*ok when he came across the colour blind test. His friends were all doing it so he decided to take it too. I was looking over his shoulder whilst doing my own stuff so I thought I would help him out, cos as I have said he is colour blind! He was doing ok but at one point he faltered so I helped and whaddaya know, with my help he got the answer wrong. We laughed, he ribbed me and that was the end. He did get a lot of flack from his friends though.

A few months passed and we were at a friends house and she is colour blind and we were talking about it so Jacob pulled up the test on the computer again. This time a group of us gathered around and we all set to it. I started reading out the numbers and everyone start roaring with laughter. I am doing sort of OK but struggling like h*ll with some of them. Some don't even have numbers in at all.

You get where this is going don't you. After all these years it isn't my husband that is colour blind it is me. It was the funniest moment. We laughed so very hard. I can see most colours. But some of them escape me. The funniest thing of all is that I have decorated the house, I have dressed my hubby for years because I have sworn he is colour blind but in fact it is me. I am not bad I think I am only missing a couple of photo receptors because I can make out nearly every colour but some just are not there.

Lily is having a great time with this and will not let me dress her any more or even buy her clothes. For the longest time I have owned a pair of pants that I have sworn were brown but everyone else has said are green....I guess they are green...who knew. Ditto a shirt I said was pink, they said it's peach, I hate peach and wouldn't be caught dead in peach.....that one is gone. Andie, you said it was peach, not sure if you remember. So if I wear some god awful outfits feel free to let me know I will gladly get rid of them.

Colour me surprised! My husband is gloating and I had to write this post cos if I didn't he would!

15 Sep 2009

YEE HAW.

Frankly I cannot think of anything that is less-British than that title but it sums up how I feel right now!

Rosie and I have just left her gastroenterologists office for the 5th or maybe the 6th time and this time we made the Dr happy. In fact we made her very happy. The last appointment we had was on the day we left for the U.K. and Rosie had only managed to gain 2 ounces and was still having diner-reeney after every single thing that she ate. Not so anymore thanks to that unplanned trip to England. She hasn't had diarrhea since June. We discovered the culprit quite by accident and have eliminated it from her diet and today she tipped the scales at 25 lbs and 3 ozs! She has gone from being in the 3rd percentile to being in the 10th for weight. She also grew 1 inch. The child is a giant. She can now wear the next size diaper legally as opposed to just wear them cos her mother felt sorry for her wearing such pathetically small diapers. (they still come up to her boobies but that is beside the point)

On another bright and cheery note I returned home on Sunday to a voicemail that said, "hey Tart, call me". I got chills up my spine. Only 2 friends in the world call me Tart, a hubby and wife team but she is sick, very very sick and she never calls me anymore. But it was her voice, full of vim and vigour, she sounded like her old self. I rang her back and I got to see her yesterday for the first time in 5 years. It did my heart good. Pammie, I love you and to see you yesterday was so wonderful. Twenty years melted away and it was just like old times and BTW I don't care what that old b*stard says, I am not getting old LOL. When you are ready let me know and I will come and get you and bring you over for the day. Promise me that!

I am off to do the happy dance with Goliath.

13 Sep 2009

3 Word Sunday

Since Lily went back to school we seem to have been sucked into a vortex where everything is once again a huge rush. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed everything is rushed heck I even sleep in a hurry at the moment. This weekend we decided that no one and no-things were going to include us and our game plan for the weekend was a lazy laid back time. The girls don't seem to think that they need any down time but I'm the Mama and we all know that, "Mama knows best!"






For the rules of 3WS go here and don't forget to go back tomorrow and see the amazing slide show that Pug Mama puts together using all of the photos.

12 Sep 2009

Back In The Saddle

A friend of ours who dabbles in (is seriously addicted to) photography came to Lily's riding lesson to take some photos of her and the pictures are fabulous. The faces that she makes when she rides are really funny. They show her grit and intensity. I had no idea just how much concentration she has when she rides because half the time she looks as if she is goofing around. Not so, she is really serious. She is not about to give this up anytime soon so I might as well just get used to the idea.

All of these photos are the property of Richard, and he gets all the credit for them. He took 100's of her and they are fabulous. I would love to post them all but seriously only I want to see them all! When Richard and Shara first arrived he was worried that she would get distracted and would spend to much time trying to smile for the camera. That lasted about 2 seconds and then she got back to business. Thank you so much Richard....and Shara cos she is his side kick and gives him instructions, whether he needs them or not but isn't that what wives are meant to do?
If you click on the photos they should enlarge.

Lily, very aware that there is a huge camera on her.



This next one is taken at a full gallop and it is the same photo but he zoomed in on her face. Look at that face. Her concentration is palpable. She looks so calm and collected but she was hauling arse!




Due to the fabulous equipment that Richard has you just cannot tell how fast Lily is going and to see these photos you would think she was trotting. She is so calm it makes me shudder.


She really does have her head in the game.


Rosie's first time on a horse. She loved it....what is a mother to do?

10 Sep 2009

Happy Birthday Andie.

Happy Birthday to the best cousin around.

Andie turns, well, let's just say she is another year older today.

The girls are all ready to warm up their vocal chords and blast your ear drums with their wonderful singing.

Happy Birthday To You,
Squashed Tomatoes and Stew
Bread and Butter in the Gutter
Happy Birthday to you.

We hope you have a really lovely day and wish we were there to help you blew out all those candles.

loads of love
us

6 Sep 2009

3 Word Sunday

For the rules about 3 word Sunday go and visit Pug Mama and then stop by her site again tomorrow and see the fabulous slide show that she puts together using everyones photos. She truly rocks it.

This has been a really long week and we couldn't wait for the weekend because we had promised LIly that if she had a great week at school she could invite Joie, Anlei and Trevi over for a sleepover. Of course I had already done so because she is loving school and there was no question that she would have a great week. As the weekend got closer my butt got closer and closer to the ground as I was just so tired but come Saturday the girls arrived for their "All Girl Weekend"

They played their little hearts out. They laughed themselves silly. They made up games and stories till nightfall. Most of all they just had fun and I have to say I laughed right along with them because quite frankly they are a riot and they think they know everything. Late last night they reluctantly went to sleep but not for long they were up bright and early this morning and we were awoken by the sounds of giggling girls.





3 Sep 2009

Our Little Girl Is Hurting, All Over Again.



I still cannot believe that something as mundane as Lily starting school again has upset Rosie as much as it has. Lily has been attending school since Rosie came home so it isn't as if this is a new development in her life but it is one that has truly unnerved our baby girl and bought all her abandonment issues front and centre once again. She is hurting.

For the first couple of days we thought she just missed her sister, plain and simple but it is more than that. She feels as if Lily is gone. And even though Lily comes back every single day it isn't helping her. Now when one of us leaves the house Rosie asks the same question, "you come back see me again?". This isn't a normal question. She isn't sleeping properly and she won't allow Lily to get close to her physically even though that is what she craves more than anything.

So we are back to attachment and bonding boot camp around here. I am just so thankful that we know what is going on and that we have friends that understand this process and what our baby girl and us are going through because not even our family understands completely.

Rosie will be fine. Lily is being an angel and understands just as much as she can for a 7 year old what is going on with her sister and is showing her the patience of a saint. This morning Rosie wouldn't kiss her goodbye and as I drove away from the school in the car Rosie screamed, "I want mine big Lily." Urghhhhh....make up your mind, oh that's right, you just can't right now! Lily now has cues and when she hears them she has to say certain things to Rosie.

These issues can come and go they don't just magically resolve themselves. They do get better and one day we hope they won't be a problem. Now that Rosie can talk we are fortunate because she tells us what is bothering her and that is how we know this is an attachment issue and not just a case of missing Lily. Oh how I wish I knew everything that had happened to these daughters of mine in the time that they lived in China. I wish for that all the time but I will never have the answer to that so I have to keep on treading water and filling in the blanks the best I can.

It will be OK baby girl, we have walked this slippery slope with you before and we will walk it for many, many more years that much we know. We will never ever falter because you are our daughter and our sister and we love you and we are a family and families, my sweet little girl, are forever.

Just remember life is a dance.

1 Sep 2009

Somewhere A Classroom Is Missing It's Clown

Apparently when I said, "Go and put on your jammies", I didn't make myself very clear!




She looks very pleased with herself doesn't she? She, no make that, they, make me laugh so much. In the bath tonight they were cracking themselves up so much I hated to fish them out.

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