27 Feb 2011

SoBe Food and Wine Festival.

If I told you I spent the day surrounded by the likes of Giarda De Laurentiis, Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver, to name a few would you be jealous? Well don't be cos it wasn't as grand as it sounds. This weekend was the South Beach Food and Wine Festival and it is really an incredible event however we went to the kids festival hosted my the Food Network and not the adult area. It was an amazing day. Celebrity chefs were giving demonstrations and there were so many things for the kids to do. My favourite was the Barilla tent where the girls got to make their own pasta and do all sorts of crafts whilst wearing chefs hats and pinnies which they were allowed to keep. The girls were photographed for the barilla website and for a yout*be video. I will link it when I see it.

The weather was perfect and the setting was fabulous, Jungle Island on Watson Island down by the beach. So much fun crammed into one short day and I have no idea how Rosie managed to keep herself away on the drive home. My money was riding on her being asleep before we left the car park.

Getting on his goat.
My little rebel
The Chefs
Seriously, doesn't she look adorable?
That's the pasta that she made.

THe girls starring in their own Food Network cooking show.

They loved this turtle
Really loved it.

Once we had spent time at the festival we went around and enjoyed Jungle Island.
Rosie feeding Ginger, gingerly
The bird show
If that landed on your car you would panic!
Watching Rosie's reaction to talking birds was priceless
Everywhere I am she has to be touching me.......I think it is so sweet.

I never even saw a glass of wine!

25 Feb 2011

So Sweet

I don't stop. I figure that I will have plenty of time to rest when I am dead so since I am not, I just go go go. Like most mothers I am the glue that keeps this family together. I think ahead, sometimes by minutes, sometimes by days, other times by months. I am an organizational nutter.
It is very rare that I ever sit down, even for 5 minutes, during the day. After the girls go to bed I start all my chores and when and only when, they are done I will sit down and see if there is anything on the telly.
I go to bed too late and get up early. Every single day I say, tonight will be an early night but I end up saving that for the next day.
Sometimes Mother Nature intervenes and slams me with a migraine that brings me to my knees. Migraines that are so intense I run a fever and can barely speak. I lay on the bathroom floor and do not move. These are rare and thankfully when they happen Jacob is usually home so he takes over whilst I sleep. Yesterday following the field trip I was hit by a freight train migraine. Hubby was working and so it was all up to me. I made it to Lily's school and picked her up but as soon as we made it in the front door I hit the bathroom floor.
Lily appeared with a glass of ice water and a few minutes later with an ice pack for my head. I never use ice so I don't know where she got the idea but it felt great. A few moments later she told Rosie to be quiet cos Mummy had a bad migraine. She proceeded to get her and her sister a snack, get them both a drink and then set-to doing her homework. I was trying to get it together but was failing.
The ice on my head felt amazing so I just nursed my self and stayed still. I felt so guilty listening to Lily play Mummy but I was truly unable to move. After an hour or so I was able to function albeit at 5% of my potential.
Lily had everything under control. I was so amazed my her ability to step into my shoes and really proud of her. Rosie was being pretty awkward but she didn't let it get to her. Each time she became loud, indignant or just "Rosie" Lily found a way to quieten her down and entertain her. She kept checking on me and offered to bring me many things.
Somehow, somewhere Lily has learnt compassion, empathy and responsibility. She really showed me what a big girl she is becoming and made me proud.
Since I am back to speed train status today I am treating Lily to something special for all of her efforts yesterday. I want her to feel proud of herself.

I get smacked by migraines all the time but usually I can medicate and move through it but not yesterday. My mantra for today is......it's going to be an early night. This time it might happen cos the idea of my little girl playing the mummy just did me in. That is not right, that is my job.

24 Feb 2011

Rosie's First Field Trip

Rosie went to the zoo today with her school but if you ask her what she did she will tell you she rode on a school bus. One of those enormous American, bright canary yellow buses, yes, she did. (too bad Popster wasn't the driver.)

As of last night she didn't want to go to school today. Kidlet doesn't handle change very well and if it is a school day then in her mind she should be in school and not galavanting around the zoo. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I would not be on the bus with her as I knew that would send her into a full blown freak-out-attack. I decided that I was just going to take her to school and then I would walk out of the classroom and jump into my car and meet her at the zoo. I was supposed to be going along with 8 other parents but we couldn't all ride the bus. I chose to not do it as I wanted her to do something alone. Her teacher or Anna, another Mum, would sit with her and all would be well. It is not as if I was abandoning her with strangers.

Well let me tell you the tears and panic set in as she boarded the bus. I sort of forced her up the stairs and then tried to find her from outside to see where she was sitting but she is little so I couldn't even see the tippy top of her head. Anna motioned she was with her and then Rosie peered out the window, smiling.

I took another mother with me and we met them at the zoo. Rosie was all excited about the bus ride. (I wanted to say, I told you so but that isn't very motherly so I zipped it) The kids had the best time all holding hands and walking around looking at the animals. Somehow there was a mix up with our monorail tickets and after waiting for 10 minutes with 16 kids we were told we couldn't go on as we hadn't paid...um yes we have but never mind lets just get this crowd moving somewhere, anywhere.

All of them were so happy but slowly the heat of the day started to wear them down so it was off for a drink and a snack to energize them, followed by a quick trip to the loo and we were off and running agin. Taking 16 kids to the loo is different! At no time today did Rosie ask to leave. I was really surprised by this. She didn't asked to be held or carried and only one time required a hug and I think that is because I was bending down to talk to her and she just wanted a hug as opposed to needing it. Life is getting easier for her and to that I say yeehaw.

When it was time to leave she asked me to go on the bus and I explained that I had my car and she dove right up the steps and waved like a crazy woman at me.
See I do know what I am doing. I know her better than anyone and I know when to force it and when to comfort her.
Today was a huge step and i am calling it a SUCCESS.
A little teary eyed
I can see you Mummy. Look I'm on a school bus
That was so awethum (awesome to you and I that don't lisp)
Barely even needed me there, she was just with her friends
Smiley girl

So beautiful. Graceful yet intimidating
Snack time
Funny fella
Rosie and her BFF

Standing under the spritzer
BFF's grandma enjoying lunch with the kids
I love giraffes

We have annual passes for the zoo so we go there frequently. Zoo Miami is an amazing zoo but riding on a big yellow bus trumps the zoo any day of the week.

21 Feb 2011

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up.

I have thought for the longest time that Rosie really has great mastery of the English language but after the last few days I think I am wrong, very, very wrong.

Today the girls and I were in a shoe shop. Both of the girls find great joy in the little sockies that they provide for you to try on shoes. I mean between those things and latex gloves at the doctors office I don't think I would ever need to buy toys. As we were entering the shop Lily asked if they could have a sockie each. I told them that they could indeed have ONE each. Oh the joy and the desperation whilst we walked around as I perused shoe after shoe. Finally I told Lily to get them. I didn't find anything I liked (which frankly I find mortifying) and told Lily to get her sockie. As we were at the door leaving the shop I asked Rosie where hers was. She looked at my puzzled and I asked her again.

She immediately looked over her shoulder and back at the door and in a very loud voice announced, " I don't have any, I need TAMPONS too!"
Me: What, you need what?
Rosie: Tampons
Lily: (she was hysterically laughing but managed to say) :They're not TAMPONS, they're pantyhoses.
Me: I was speechless at this point
Rosie: Okay then, then I need panties-hoses
Me: HELP, take me away!

I am sure she didn't yell the word tampon in her loudest voice ever I think it just seemed that way.
I finally set them both straight and explained they are neither tampons nor pantyhoses nor panties-hoses but they are indeed little sockie thingamajigs.
Good thing I don't get embarrassed easily.

20 Feb 2011

Happy Gotcha Day Rosie

Three years ago today we became a family of four in the Civil Affairs Office of Guandong Province.
I have no idea where the last 3 years have gone, no idea at all.
Somewhere during this time my baby learnt to walk, and talk, and had her heart surgery. She learnt to trust us and to love us and finally allowed us to love her.
She went from 12 months to 48 months in the blink of an eye.
She goes to nursery school and now I can say, with all certainty, that she loves it.
She learnt to swim, 2 years ago. How can it be?
She rides horses.
She has her own friends.
She loves to help me cook.
She is moving forward and is no longer a baby but a little girl.
She knows what she wants to wear and this morning said to me, I don' really like that outfit. Do I have to wear it?
She writes her name.
She counts to 30.
She sings her alphabet.
She loves to ride her bike.
She dials her dad on the phone.
She has an amazing imagination and spends hours playing little games with her dogs.
She is sassy.
She has an opinion, a large opinion and offers it frequently.
She is tiny, really tiny but has a huge spirit.
She loves her sister, passionately.
She lets very few people into her heart but when you are in, you are in.
Rosie is growing up.

We love you little Qi Min, thank you for making our family complete.

19 Feb 2011

She Said, What?

This morning when I came home from work I went to get changed to go for a run. Rosie and Lily were playing in Lily's room and then Rosie came dashing into our room with a ribbon tied over her eyes. I decided this was a bad idea, (imagine that) and asked her what she was doing.

Me: Rosie, what are you doing? You are going to hurt yourself.
Rosie: I am playing blonde.
Me: You're doing what?
Rosie: Playing blonde.
Me: What on earth do you mean?
Rosie: I can't see, I'm blonde.
Me: Ummm, do you mean blind?
Rosie: Yeah, blind.

I ran into the bathroom grabbed a towel and laughed my head off. Apparently having a blonde mother is rubbing off on her. Oh and the game continued and she never got hurt.

18 Feb 2011

Wearing Funky Shoes

I have never taken the girls bowling. Is that really bad? I don't like it and I just never think of it. The other day Lily asked if we could go so I promised her the next time she had a day off from school we would go. She wrote it on the calender and today was the day.

My word were they excited. Rosie obviously has no clue what bowling is other than Wii bowling but she was raring to go. I was wrong, she kept saying, "real bowling with a ball"

After lunch, when Lily was finished with another project for school, we went bowling. They had so much fun. I enjoyed it because they were just so delighted to actually be in a bowling alley and bowling. I had to laugh when I asked for the smallest size ball and the girl handed me a 7 lb'er. How on earth is Rosie ever going to be able to lift it let alone bowl with it? That is when I was asked if I wanted a ramp? A what? They explained and we got a ramp, put the bumpers up and were ready to go bowling in our funky shoes. I have a big problem wearing anything that the world and his brother have worn before me, why not just paddle about in a toilet bowl?

Oh they had fun. At first Rosie was a little overcome by all the noise and hustle and bustle but after a few minutes she calmed down and dove right in.

Poor Rosie, they didn't have her size shoes so we had to go up a couple. They were like flippers on her.
Enough colours.
look what I've got, it's a bit heavy
putting it on the ramp all by herself.
And it's off.
Lily looking like a pro.
and it's off.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Yes, this is the painful truth my girlies both beat me. How pitiful.

Rosie took this one. I look a little bit tired.
looking tired here too but Rosie looked cute.

Love this picture of lanky Lily
In the car on the way home they were taking silly photos
Here's another one

When we got home we played wii, Just Dan*e it. OMG it was hilarious, hilarious. Now I have to plan out tomorrow so it is as fun as today but now I'm heading to bed.

17 Feb 2011

Dear Lily

Dear Sweet Lily.

You don't know how much it hurts me to see you in pain. To see your face and know exactly what it is that you are pondering. When you say, "I don't even know her name or even her first initial" or "what does she look like?"

Will you ever know who she is? I cannot answer that yet. I believe, all the way to the bottom of my soul, that one day the laws in China will change and the women that you all are seeking will be allowed to identify themselves. If there is ever a chance I promise I will be right there with you.

This morning you said "it would have all been OK if I was born a boy and it would have been so much better". All the books we have read together and all the facts that we know point to the fact that being a boy would not necessarily have changed a thing. Hearing you say those words was the hardest thing I have ever had to listen to. Sweet Lilipop, how my heart breaks for you and all these unknowns. I can't ever put myself in your shoes and I cannot pretend to understand but I will always, always be here for you.

I told you this morning and I will tell you for the rest of my life that I couldn't love you anymore than I do because the love I have for you is the love of a mother to her child, HER child.

Love you, all the way to the sky and back, and then some.

I really never thought that I would be answering these questions yet. They are deep and involved and frankly, I thought she be around 12 before these questions came up. Just like everything you do for the first time it was hard and I was trying to not take it as a dig against me and her Daddy as I know better than that. She loves us, truly loves us but in her heart she has a love for her birth parents and that is natural.

The circumstances surrounding her birth mothers decision to place her for adoption are unknown to us. She is starting to build a story in her head of how it might have been and how it will be if she ever finds her. I cannot dash that story for her but I cannot let her believe in something that might be false as the pain from that would be immense. That is the fine line we are walking now. Not dashing her hopes and dreams but trying to offer options.

We have some great books that she is reading, one in particular, "When You Were Born In China" seems to be helping answer some of her unknowns. We read it together and every now and again she says, well that makes sense.

I can't even pretend to understand this, not one second of it. Her sister will and they will have each other to turn to but Rosie is just way to little to fathom any of it right now. I am grateful that we have been so open with her as this would have made her head implode if it all came down on her at once.

Does anyone have a magic wand that I can borrow?

13 Feb 2011

Time Fly's When You Are Having Fun

Three years ago today at this time we were on board a plane from Miami to Paris where we would board another plane to Shanghai and then another to Beijing and then after a reprieve, another one to Guangzhou. We were Rosie bound. Most people don't fly to Europe and then on to China and we hadn't planned on it but Valentines day in Paris seemed like a fabulous idea.....NOT. We were booked to fly from Miami to San Fran' and then straight to Shanghai, stay overnight and then to Beijing the next day BUT when we arrived at MIA at some middle of the night time and boarded our plane it didn't take off. We sat for over an hour until the plane was deemed un-flyable. They may have said it was, out of service but it means the same thing to me. By this time we had missed the only other flight to San Fran'.

Hubby works for AA and he was panicky so he made it my job to go and sweet talk the booking agent. I calmly (hysterically calmly) explained our situation, mentioned we were meeting family from the UK in Beijing who were joining us on our ADOPTION trip and tried to ever so patiently wait as she attacked her keyboard. Finally we were booked to head to London that night and then to Shanghai, etc etc. I ran to a pay phone to call my dad and tell him to head to LHR in the morning to see us off. As I returned to the booking agent she said that didn't give us enough time to make our connection in Shanghai so she was routing us via Paris. Back to the pay phone I went.

We picked up our bags, our luggage and ourselves and headed back home. Lily was so tired as she had had to get up at 3am, so she slept whilst I washed the clothes we were wearing and fiddle faddled about. At last it was time to try again so we headed back to MIA and this time we actually boarded and took off. We arrived in Paris on Valentines day and spent the day at the airport waiting for our connection to China.

As we approached landing the flight crew came on and involved everyone in a quick workout, it was hilarious. Lily and I joined in and Jacob just looked at us, thoroughly bewildered. We grabbed our hand luggage, got ridiculously excited and headed for immigration. When we arrived the immigration lounge was full of people and we didn't have long to get through to our next flight. Finally it was our turn. I thought immigration at MIA is tough but Shanghai has that beat. We were thee for ages and questioned, interrogation style for ages until I mentioned the name of our tour group and bang, she stamped our passports and we ran to claim our luggage. We were almost to late. As we approached the area a couple was walking away with all our stuff and they were NOT airline personnel. Jacob grabbed it from them and we ran. From her perch, high on the luggage rack, LIly scoped out the gates and we arrived at gate 22 to find it empty. We ran though anyway and found hey were closing the flight. Thankfully they let us board.

We arrived in Beijing 5 minutes before my cousin. Our guide herded all of us and our luggage to a coach and we headed to the Novatel Peace Hotel. Lily crashed in the coach and didn't wake up for a couple of hours. Jacob carried her up to our room and placed her in bed. We had a suite and Andie had an adjoining room so we hung around catching up and waiting for Lily to awaken.

She finally did and we went out to find some dinner but it was so brutally cold that we ended up going back to hotel and ordered room service. We we so tired that we went to bed at 7pm and slept until 6am. And so began the trip to Rosie.

12 Feb 2011

Yada, Yada, Yada.

This afternoon Lily was working hard on a school project, Rosie was sleeping and I decided to fiddle around with the blog. Things were not going well, I knew exactly what I wanted but somehow I ended up with nothing. The screen showed nothing but a blank slate. I suffered a massive heart attack, took a deep breathe and started back peddling really fast. This is not the look I was searching for, at all. Not even close. Lily hates it, Hubby hasn't seen it yet and as for Rosie, well let's face it, the kid's 4 so as long as her picture is on it she loves it. I wanted to make my pictures larger. What's the secret?

Rosie came down stairs yesterday whimpering. She finally managed to tell me she had hurt her knanckle. I think she meant ankle but it could have been knuckle as she never did produce any sort of boo boo.

Lily made Principals Honor Roll this grading period, again. Her and her bestie tried to pretend to have really bad report cards and both walked out of school trying really hard to look upset. Let's just say they won't get an Oscar for that lame performance. They were both to proud to act sad. We buy grades in this house. A perfect report card holds a reward. We have no shame.

I have never understood people who jog, ever. I can't imagine how boring it must be to just keep running. I'm eating my words. At the beginning of the year I decided I would get up earlier than I already do and go out for a power walk. I then realised that there was no possible way I was walking anywhere in the dark. I don't like the dark plus 5.30 is just not a time when a person should get up. I put that plan on hold and kept to my regular exercise schedule. Three weeks ago I revamped that plan and went out for a walk after Lily went to school. I walked for about 5 minutes and then started running. I couldn't run far as I couldn't breath. Fast forward to today and I run every single day. It is really boring so I make it fun by trying to beat my time every single day. I have trimmed 7 minutes off since day one. It is amazing how much further I can run. Sometimes I take Rosie along in the pushchair. I am not fast at all on those days. Today it was freezing here and raining and I went faster than ever and didn't even break a sweat.

When my sister was visiting us, along time ago, she noticed that the people here are just not friendly and she is right. You can see the same person every single day and they won't say hello or even offer a smile. I am making it my mission to make every person that I see when I run, often the same faces day after day, say hello. It helps with the monotony. It also makes it a more pleasant place to live. It's common courtesy and plain old fashioned good manners as far as I am concerned.

Rosie asked today if we could have a party. She requested hats, necklaces, grapes, fancy snacks and fireworks. She wanted another New Years Eve party. Kid is bonkers. I obliged her cos it was good fun however it took place at 7pm. What does she know with time?

Here are some photos of the girls from today. Don't laugh to hard.

This part isn't funny, it's just Lily with wavy hair. She requested wavy, not curly hair so she slept with some great big rollers in. Don't worry they were soft.
She loves it.
Here is the funny part. When Rosie saw Lily's hair she wanted it too
I called her Edna the whole time she had her rollers in.
I couldn't keep a straight face and when Jacob saw her he roared with laughter.
I failed to take a photo of her when her hair was all curly. Next time.

9 Feb 2011


The girls love to sleep together. Doesn't matter if they decide to go to bed in their own rooms they won't stay that way for long. One or the other of them wanders in to the other ones room. Rosie has a twin bed with a trundle and Lily has a full size bed so often they end up in there, if not with us.
They both sleep so much better when they are together. Must be that old, safety in numbers, adage.
Last night I put them both to bed in Lily's room. A couple of hours later I went upstairs to put away some washing and this is what I found......

I laughed. I wonder if Rosie is asking her sister to smell her feet or if the smell of her feet just knocked Lily unconscious. For the life of me cannot fathom the need for all those annoying stuffed animals. Lily has 2 but Rose has a whole entourage plus her thumb and her blanket, AKA, bray bray.

One evening last week I walked in to Rosie's room while she was asleep and she started sleep talking.
R: Mama Mama, can I lick it?
Me: (thinking I had better answer even though she was clearly asleep) Sure sweetie, go ahead.
R: Ewww, it's scusting. (disgusting) WAAAAHHHHHH.
M: Rosie be quiet and stay asleep
R: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Even when they are asleep they make me laugh.

6 Feb 2011

It's A Party If You Say It is.

Little Miss Rosie Posie is still a little under the weather. She was going to have a birthday party today with a handful of our friends. We were going to meet at a local park but since she isn't feeling great I decided to rethink that idea and scale it back.

Hollis and family joined us for a very small party but that didn't dampen Rosie's spirit at all, I told her it was a party so she loved it. We played all sorts of old fashioned party games, pass the parcel, Please Mother May I, Musical chairs, pop the balloon etc., and each child got to win little prizes. I put all the prizes in a basket and if they won they got to choose. We kept it really fair with a little parental intervention, if you will, so they all won something. We made goody bags had balloons and of course cake. We love the cupcakes from here and have decided that the days of enormous birthday cakes are over, it is Misha's for us from now on. I have never seen kids eat cake, they usually snarf the icing and are done but with these tiny cupcakes they eat it all.

The girls all played in their usual style before lunch and then afterwards we started the fun and games. I remember at some point Hollis saying it was time to go but thankfully 2 hours later they were still here and the girls were still playing their little hearts out. As Hollis loaded her car we had a good laugh when we noticed that Lily and Rosie were buckled in as well. Hollis is family along with her girls and Mother. We cannot celebrate any occasion without them and Rosie refers to her as her Hollis Bollis. The other day she asked if Hollis could come to her party without her girls so that she could spend sometime with her alone. Hollis and I got a good laugh over that.

It takes a lot of puff to blow out 5 candles. We always have one for luck on our cakes.
love this one
But this one is my favourite
Excitedly awaiting the OK to open a gift.
pass the parcel.

And that is where the photos end cos sometimes it is better to be a spectator then a photographer.

Glad you had fun Rosie now could you please get better!


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