After I finished work for the morning we had plans to meet up with one of Lily's classmates for a bike ride. I loaded their bikes into the car and Munira loaded Sana's bike into her car and we met at a park. Here are some photos of them riding!
Can't even see a bike
No bikes here either Look far, far into the distance, you can vaguely make out a bike Aha, the little monkeys are out of the trees Now it's time for piggy back rides.
She does this stuff to scare me
and joy of joys, Peanut is copying her.
Apparently bike riding was not fashionable today but tree climbing was very in! So glad I schlepped the bikes with us. They had so much fun in the trees, the little monkeys.
It's a long weekend here and we are really making the most of it. We have so many plans for the next few weeks it is mind boggling. Today we took time out from all the madness and just had a perfect day.
We met up with our new friends, who BTW just made DTC this past week, and we went to the park for a picnic. Honestly these kids played non stop with just a few breaks to hydrate and eat, for hours.
Lunch time N and Lily up high
Lily on a rock...it's like bump on a log but prettier A on a rock
We stayed at the park for hours and when we left the girls were tired and filthy, very filthy. If the girls were going to stay awake for the duration of the afternoon, water was needed. Since we live in Florida we are surrounded by beautiful beaches, the gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, countless water parks and more swimming pools than we can count. Today however it was the $10 splash pool that won hands down and offered hours of entertainment. I laughed really hard when I saw what the girls dressed themselves in to play in 6 inches of water.
They even had water guns.
As I was outside with the girls Jacob was getting dinner ready. Just as he was about to fire up the grill we decided to put dinner plans on hold and order out. It was just to much of a fun and perfect day to start grilling and cooling, so we didn't.
I don't remember exactly when it was that I posted and asked for prayers for my friend Heather's husband because he had been in a car accident. He was hit by a drunk driver and he had to fight, really hard, to survive. Their life was turned upside down, completely. It appeared that the old adage was true again: bad things happen to good people.
They never stopped looking forward, never stopped fighting and yesterday we attended Heathers baby shower. That is amazing. So many reasons to celebrate this little girl, this family. The shower invitation stated, bring your children and your bathing suits.
I stayed close to the pool. I know Rosie can swim but I can't walk away from her. I missed a lot of the socializing but it didn't matter to me. Jenny and I stayed near the pool, she got it but I managed to convince my girls they really didn't need me and they didn't.We were there and we were celebrating. Once the clouds rolled in and the breeze picked up I plucked a chilly and blue-lipped child from the water and got her dressed. She ate and then started to play on the sand. Then I was able to talk with all the lovely ladies.
Such a wonderful afternoon. Such fun to see life the way it is meant to be.
My camera stayed barely touched in my bag. I should have taken the waterproof one but I didn't. As Heather reached for her last gift I realised.......PHOTOS, oops. When her son came running up to her and handed her a huge pink Hibiscus flower as she was unwrapping gifts it would have been a perfect photo op but I didn't catch that either.
Heather and Jenny.
I would have loved to have eavesdropped the conversations that were taking place between these new found friends. Lily and her new friends. Rosie and her new friend....cheetos I think I can
Thank you so much to Heathers family for inviting to "be happy" with you. Now we wait, just a little bit longer to meet "her".
One of my dear bloggy friends who waited for close to 5 years for her baby is now a Mummy. Krista is in China right now and has Mia in her arms. It's good stuff, no, it's brilliant absolutely brilliant. Krista has been so kind to my girls over the years and Mia is so lucky to be the one to call her Mama.
Today was their first full day together and look at all those smiles. Mia is gorgeous and so very happy.
To see more of Mia and her Mama click HERE Congratulations Krista, we are so happy for you both.
Half the Sky sent out an email today and it was all about this blog. I clicked on the blog thinking I'd just read for a minute and about 20 minutes later I was still there.
A motorcycle ride from South Africa to Shanghai to benefit HTS and ART (Autism Research Trust). Just one English Man and a Chinese lady. To bad they aren't coming to a city near us cos I would love to cheer them on.
If you can, and I know money is tight for everyone, show them a little love.
Lily is a good girl. She comes in from school and after a quick snack and a few minutes of madness, settles down to do her homework. Once her homework is done I ask her to pack a book bag ready for the next day and place in by the front door. This part rarely happens, She"ll throw all her stuff in it and leave it where it is or she will put some of the stuff in it and I end up adding the other books and or folders to it myself. Last night after, reminding her 3 times, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I took her book bag and placed it by the door and then looked around to see what I could add to it.
I found a flip flop, and the days newspaper. I mentioned to Jacob what I was doing and he loved it and told me to go and get a brick to put in it. I did but after some deliberation we thought she might possibly get in to all sorts of trouble with a brick in her back pack so I removed it. I went upstairs and grabbed a pair of socks and then headed into Rosies room and got one of her dolly's. I carefully placed everything in her bag and zipped it shut. Bwa ha ha ha.
During dinner Jacob made a comment to the girls about how he hopes they appreciate everything that I do for them and how they really don't understand just how much I do. Again bwa ha ha ha.
I went back out to work and upon my return Jacob told me how he ad added some stuff to her lunch box as well.
It is really hard for me to keep secrets so I kept making little comments to Lily about how i thought she was going to have a few hysterical moments at school today. She didn't question it cos it is her field day today and it will be fun. I then revisited Jacob's comment to her last night and she said, "Mummy, I do appreciate everything you do but most especially I appreciate you taking me out of that dreadful orphanage". I just looked at her, utterly speechless. I told her she is my daughter and she doesn't have to appreciate THAT. WIthin seconds we were back to being silly. As I was trying to teach her a lesson I also learnt one: her past is never far from her mind and she is starting to understand more and more about it.
As she got out of the car today I made another quip and she looked a tad suspicious. As we drove away I told Rosie what Daddy and I had done and she giggled.
I can't wait to pick her up today and see what she thought about all her extra stuff. I just really hope she has learnt a lesson and will now pack her own book bag instead of letting me help her!
*** Lily is hopelessly unflappable! She said at first she thought all the stuff in her book bag was from Rosie so she laughed about it with her friends and then at lunch she actually thought her Daddy and placed her thermos in an old sock to keep it extra cold. (seriously, what on earth?) She said it wasn't until she read the note that it all made sense but it didn't faze her. Alas, I have learnt yet another lesson: it is impossible to mess with this kid and if I need to teach ehr a lesson it needs to be done in a sensible way. How dull. LOL
Not much going on around here today. A few errands and an ice cream followed by a little bit of time in a very old picturesque town that we fell upon. We've been there many times in the past, before children but this was the first time we have taken them there. Rosie was more interested a dog than in anything else. Lily fell in love with a Cockatoo.
We found Betty
A bridge to nowhere that 2 kids LOVED
The kiddies were amazed at the size of this leaf
Me and my girls Lily hiding Completely camouflaged You knew this was coming...Rosie copying Lily
I always knew that when I became a Mother that one thing I would stress to my children was, giving to others less fortunate than themselves. Lily has always been great at this. Before her birthday and before Christmas she sorts through her toys and finds things to donate to the kiddies of the world with much less than her and in some cases nothing. For Christmas one year she emptied out her piggy bank, after noticing a catalogue that had come in the mail, and asked me to send it to WACAP as a Christmas present for her Grandpa. In her Grandpa's name she donated milk to feed the children left behind in the orphanages in China. On another occasion she and a few of her China sisters held a lemonade stand to raise money for HTS. As for Rosie, well lets just say she is still a work in progress but I think and hope she is starting to understand.
Half The Sky is the organization that runs the Social Welfare Institute in Maoming City, where Rosie spent the first twelve months of her life. They teach orphanage workers all over China how to care for the babies in their institutions. Rosie received wonderful care under their watchful eye and we are forever indebted to them.
A little over a week ago we received an email from HTS asking us to video tape the girls singing a particular song and send it in. It is part of their, Great Hall of Beijing, event for Childrens Day on June 1st. Lily leapt at the opportunity to help out. After many "takes" we finally got the tape done and uploaded. We received an email confirming that both the girls will be part of this monumental event, You can read about it here.
As most of you know I am not the kind of parent that brags about every single thing their child does. If my girls are great at something fabulous but if they aren't I am not going to tell them they are. Lily's singing voice has always been questionable but recently her singing has been sounding like, just that, singing, rather than a cat who's tail it stuck in a lawn mover blade.
She had to sing whilst wearing headphones and as you know when you wear headphones you cannot hear yourself. Oy Vey! And as if that wasn't enough she had to sing in Mandarin, Oy Vey again. She tried so hard and was really proud to be participating but not so proud of how she sounded. I sent it in anyway.
Rosie wanted "in" too so we taped her but as you can see hers was edited to a few seconds as she suffers from stage fright.
I can't wait to see the finished DVD of the whole performance.
You didn't really just listen to my girls wailing did you? Thank you, you are to kind!
As parents, Jacob and i spend a lot of time preaching the dangers of strangers. We tell the kids that these people don't look like freaks but like ordinary people and on and on we go. We want to be sure that they get it and don't fall for the, I've lost my puppy, line.
So what did this hypocrite of a mother do today? She took her kids to meet a perfect stranger at the park. Great lesson right? I do it quite often. Sometimes we even drive 3-4 hours away to have lunch or dinner with people we have never met BUT (and this is a big BUT) all of these strangers have, or are, in the process of adopting from China so every single inch of their past has been probed, dissected, and regurgitated.
A few months ago our social worker emailed me to see if she could put us in touch with another family who were just starting out on their adoption journey. I said yes, we emailed, we chatted and today we met at the park.
Before we left I told the girls that we had a play date and they wanted to know with whom, so I told them we've never met. How many children was the next question. My answer, 2 boys. BOYS, came back the mortified reply, BOYS? Yes I said, 2 boys. Lily was not impressed so Rosie decided she shouldn't be either. To make matters worse I had to stop at the mall on the way there. I was really scoring high points with Lily today. I buttered her up a bit and off we went. We arrived within minutes of each other and as is always the case, we were like old friends instantly and those BOYS, well they were the best thing since sliced bread. All 4 kids played and played. They ran, jumped, hung like monkeys, hid, threw frisbees and balls, got scraped and bruised and laughed so much. In fact when it was time to leave they were all quite disgruntled. These boys and their Mum are just great. Another friendship has been forged through a common thread, adoption. I love that. Now we have to wait for a special little girl to join her family....waiting, waiting.
"N" he's 10 and full of energy, just like Lily.
Rose, Lily, "A" and "N". "A" is 8 This zip line thingy kept them occupied for ages. Rosie, showing that she can do everything the big kids do Goofy girl swinging herself.
The funniest part of the day: finding out that the boys were mortified at the thought of going to play at the park with 2 GIRLS. Listen up kidlets, SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHERS.
When Andie came to stay she bought the girls lots of gifts. One of which was a this.
I was bombarded by some nasty stomach bug yesterday and the Hub's was not home. I put a tacky old table cloth on the table and let 'em at it whilst I crawled back to the couch. Every now and again I would crawl back into the room, snap a picture, assess the damage and crawl back under my rock.
Rosie was very serious about yellow
Lily was more detail oriented
They had such a great time doing it and they came out really well. Today we will plant the seeds and grow some mystery plant. Thanks Annie, Andie. A huge success.
No, it isn't you or your computer, Blogger has crashed and taken with it the last 30 hours of posts. In their status reports they say that everything should be recovered very soon. I still have all the posts in my blog history but the comments have gone...Yikes. I will give them a couple of days and if the missing post doesn't show up I will re-post it.
It's rare that Blogger goes kaput. For a free service they are fabulous so we will let this little episode slide.
This past Thursday Lily bought an envelope home from school that was addressed to, The Parents of Lily C. It was a really fat letter inside so I ripped into wondering what it could be. The letter stated that Lily failed the eye test and that they suggested she see an eye doctor.
It didn't come as a huge surprise because when we saw the doctor a little over a year ago he said he expected that she would need glasses in the next couple of years.
I called the Doc' immediately and we went to see him on Friday. ( you may remember that saga from a previous post) She was tested and needed specs so off we went to choose some. At first the whole idea of wearing glasses just devastated her. She kept chanting, "I look like a dork. Mummy, I look like a nerd", etc etc. All of a sudden she put on a particular pair and Lily came shining through. She tilted her head, she beamed from ear to ear, she wiggled her hips and said she liked them. Hallelujah.
I ordered them with all the bells and whistles that I was offered: scratch proof lenses with insurance so if she gets one little scratch, they will replace them for free, hinged arms so she hopefully won't snap them off or stretch them out, and of course transition lenses, there was something else but I can't think what it was.
Today as I was picking her up from school I received a call to say they were ready so we headed straight there. She put them on, had them fitted properly and just kept smiling. When we left the store I asked her to take them off for a minute and then I asked her to read a license plate. She did so I asked her to read the words above the letters and she had no idea. I told her to put her glasses on and try again and she read, myflorida .com, with ease. Within minutes she was saying that everything was so clear. She loves the sunglass effect in them and hasn't taken them off, well except to have a bath and go to sleep. At the moment they are the cleanest glasses I have ever seen as they gave her a cleaning kit and she is using it A LOT.
I feel a little guilty for not realising she needed them and also for not realising it was over a year since her last check up. Duh.
So here she is with a look that she will have for a few years, at least until I feel she is capable of dealing with contact lenses.
This is the only photo I have of her inside so the lenses are clear but it is an awful photo.
These were all taken at the park later this afternoon. Heaven help me, she looks so grown up.
I'm just throwing this one in cos I love it. Jakie and the girls.
So, is anyone interested in a friendly wager to guess just how long it will be before before she either breaks her glasses or loses them? I give it 3 weeks until we have a calamity and I am really being positive with that guess.
When Andie comes to stay we have fun. Lots of fun and many giggle fits. She thinks life in this part of the world is crazy and moves at an insane pace. I agree with her. She also thinks my life is particularly nutty and she is right. If something needs to be done, I have to do it right away so add that to a fast paced society and you have bedlam. She likes a quieter life and loves large open spaces. I do too but it isn't happening here.
She knew that both girls would be in school last week and that Jacob and I would be working but she didn't care she came anyway. No quick trips away for us this time around just the everyday stuff.
On Friday I dropped Lily at school and then headed off to renew my driving license. To my delight it was uneventful and I left with a temporary license and was back home in record time. Next on the agenda as far as jobs was to pick Lily up from school early as she had a doctors appointment. I have only ever pulled Lily out of school early once before so I am not used to the protocol.
I grabbed my keys jumped into the car and headed to school where I raced into the office and was asked for I.D. Uhh, not a face in the office that I recognised and I know everyone there. I saw the assistant principal 2 seconds before but he was gone. I raced back to the car with Rosie and Andie in tow and headed home for my license. Then we returned to school I handed over my I.D. and they went to get Lily. Mr. P reappeared and asked if I was still waiting and I explained that I had forgotten my I.D to which he replied, I know you. Thanks, very helpful now! I am thankful that the school insists on I.D. and so I wasn't upset just a little pushed for time at this point. After what seemed like hours Lily appeared and we raced back home so that she could get changed and have a snack.
We left the house in a rush and drove to the eye doctors. I also know everyone at the doctors office as I have been a patient there for a long time and seem to be there all the freaking time due to my eye. I am unsure of what is worse, trying to find a parking space at baptist hospital or trying to get in an elevator. We were lucky on the first count but not so much on the second. As we are waiting Lily is reading all the doctors names and I point out that one is also in the office where she is going so we need to go to that floor. I said, "thats William T, but he is called Billy Boy cos his daddy also works there and he is Henry" then I point out Jack and say, "he used to date the doc I used to work with" and then we find Dr.S's name but before I can say anything a man in scrubs with a surgical cap walks forward and introduces himself as Dr. William T. He had heard the whole conversation and "Billy Boy" wasn't impressed. Andie and I cracked up laughing and fortunately the lift arrived at that moment and even though it was going down we hopped in. Unfortunately as we went back up we stopped at the same floor and "Billy Boy" hopped in. Andie and I were hysterically giggling but I was able to hide behind a tall guy so "Billy Boy" couldn't see me. My doc calls him Billy Boy and I have seen him many times as a patient and we have talked about it however I guess he doesn't want the world to know it.
As we are chatting with the office staff I realise I have forgotten the paperwork that the doctor has to sign. URGHHHH. I leave Andie with Lily and head back to my house in Friday traffic. Oh and my gas light was on at this point but I didn't have time to stop. Yeah, I know that makes no sense at all but it did then.
We get home AGAIN, I grab the papers and a huge bag of chocolate and head back to the office. Lily was in a room and waiting to see the Doc. After a few minutes he comes and announces Lily needs glasses. She is not happy about this but in my absence Andie has had her try a few pairs on and she is warming up to the idea.
I just needed to get out of there. The day just kept repeating the same task and I was fried. Before we headed home for the day we stopped at an eye glass place and she filled the script. She looks so cute in them and is now looking forward to them being ready.
If I have another day where I just keep re-tracing my steps like that I will go mad. I am usually very organised. And just for the record, yes I do know it is the law to carry I.D, but I never do when I run to school. It's a mile away and I leave my phone and wallet at home every single day. If you think I have learnt my lesson, think again, it's me!
Thank you to both of my little girls for allowing me to be their Mummy. Thank you both for putting up with just how much I love you both, I am sure sometimes it is stifling. Thank you both for making my heart whole.
I love you more than you will ever know.
This was a perfect Mother's Day. We all slept late, that alone is a gift more precious than diamonds, well nearly but let's not be THAT silly. The girls and Jacob went all out in the gift department. Both girls had made things at school and Jacob shopped heavily. I love my gifts but they are not necessary, really they aren't. We had a huge breakfast and then decided to go for a swim. I enjoy being with my girls and spending time with them so the idea of spending time alone on Mothers Day is not for me. I also don't want to do anything that I would enjoy more than the girlies as if not for them I would not be celebrating this day.
We were in the pool for a couple of hours, just being silly, splashy and having fun. There was a little competitive spirit to be found by 2 certain people who both won medals, in their day, for swimming.
Not sure what is with Rosie's face Never let life get too serious Crazy face day Underwater
After a quick lunch the fun ended rather abruptly as we had to take Andie to the airport so that she could head home. That's the absolute worst part of having family come and stay. It doesn't get any easier either.
The girls are going to miss her so much. Andie, on the other hand, really needs a rest. She is an energetic sort and is used to working 24 hour shifts, the kind they throw at you in Iraq and Afghanistan but she isn't used to 2 kids who never slow down.
At the airport we used a baggage tag to tie up Lily's hair and told her we were checking her as luggage and sending her to Grandpa's.
Uh oh, good bye is getting closer Bye, we are going to miss you, lots. We left the airport and drove home to a quiet house. Tonight I hugged the girls tighter than usual and told them again, how much I love them and thanked them for all the gifts and homemade cards and all the times they wished me, A happy Mother's day but most importantly I thanked them for being mine. I really am so thankful for my girls.