29 Feb 2012

Another sign they are growing up

Neither of my girls had much hair when they were little. Lily really didn't have any at all until she was four. Rosie's grows much faster but it is so thin and flyaway that you can't do anything with it. Lily's is now long and thick. It's the long part that is making me crazy but she decided after hearing about how kids that get treated for cancer lose their hair and having met a little girl going through chemo, that she wants to grow her hair to donate it.

Locks of Love, the biggest of the organisations that makes wigs for kids has earned itself a bad rap recently as they sell more hair than they use to make wigs. They have lots of reasons/excuses but they are losing ground. Pantene now has a program, they are partnering with the American Cancer Society and the hair needs to be eight inches long. Wigs for Kids is also a great program but the donation needs to be 12 inches long. Lily wants to work with Wigs for Kids. Groan. Do you realise how long her hair will be before she can cut it? BLECH. I am not a hair person. I particularly don't like long hair on little kids.

Not much I can do about it though as her heart is in the right place.

When they were little I always went to a kids salon for their haircuts and then Lily decided she was to old so we started going to just a chain of hairdressing salons but each time we got someone different and they never spoke English and it was getting to be a right hassle. Yesterday I finally had a brainwave and took them to Jill, my hairdresser for the past 10 yrs. They know Jill and she knows them. It was perfect. They got the whole salon treatment, sat as still as statues, well Rosie not so much and we left really happy.

Rosie wants her hair to be as long as Lily's. I told Jill to just take the ends off of Rosies and then held up my fingers to show her how I really meant at least an inch! That child just can't have long hair yet, it's to flyaway.

They just look so grown up in these photos in the big black capes. I kinda miss the itty bitty kiddy ones. Sigh.

28 Feb 2012

Repeat, repeat, repeat w/ a side of controversy

Today was Rosie's turn to receive an award at school. Last month both girls received Student of the Month, Lily received Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance and this was Rosie's turn for the Perfect Attendance Award. Since Rosie isn't graded yet by the standard system this is the only other award that she can receive.

The Assistant Principal was the M.C. and she really got the little ones involved. She started by asking if anyone knew why we were here today. A little boy near the back said he did and jumped up and ran to the mic' where he announced very loudly, "I don't know". Hilarious. Ditto the exact same results with boy number 2. She asked one more time and I saw this really tiny little girl make her way to the front. I absolutely couldn't believe my eyes, it was Rosie. My shy, meek, scaredy cat of a kid was making her way to the microphone. I didn't have time to grab the video cos I was picking my chin up off of the floor. With a very loud and clear voice she said, "we are here today because, I don't know either". She made everyone giggle and I was really proud of her. She did know why she was there and when I questioned her later she said she forgot!

The ceremony commenced once everyone stopped laughing.

Waiting for the assembly to start
Checking Mummy is looking at her
Her best George W impression. (her award is upside down)
With her teacher and the other kidlets from her class.

Now for what I am sure will be a controversial commentary.

I think these awards that they give to the kids for things like perfect attendance and grades are rubbish. We live in such a self centred society where everything is about, me, me, me. Kids are meant to go to school EVERY DAY. They are meant to get good grades, whether they are A B or C students. The grades shouldn't make them superior. Lily knows what her best is and as along as she gives it 100% that's acceptable.

Surely by rewarding kids for every little thing that they do will only make this a more egocentric society. When these kids get a job in the real world they are going to be really namby pamby and require a pat on the back every 2 minutes. For God's sake, we have to work. It's a job, we have to perform and other than the chance of promotion and outstanding service or performance we shouldn't need a pat on the back and an atta' boy every five minutes. Life is tough and it's not about to get easier for our kids as they enter the world. We need to stop molly coddling them and make 'em Man Up a bit.

I spend a lot of time building my girls up but not to the point where they won't be able to get through a day without constant praise. I also bring them back down to reality. It's my job as their Mum.

I think the character value awards are a good idea. Reward a child for something special that they displayed but for being at school every single day? Frankly I find that to be Bullsh*t. They are meant to be at school every single day, it's their job!

27 Feb 2012

Crazy old lady

I am writing this post because if I don't Lily or Jacob will.

On Saturday afternoon I ran to Ann Tayl0r L0ft to see if they had anything that I might actually like, for that evening. With Lily and Rosie as critics I tried on forty billion outfits and either felt, short, fat, frumpy, not nice etc etc until we all agreed that one outfit was perfect. I am not a clothes shopper. I wear my stuff forever. If I like something I buy it in every colour. That's just how I roll.

After whipping my dress on and off forty billion times so that I could go back out to the sales floor and find more possibilities I put it back on for the last time and headed towards the registers. Did I want to open and credit card, did I find everything OK, you no the shpeel. I handed over some money and we went directly outside to my car and (thankfully) headed straight home.

After being home for about 15 minutes Lily came over for a hug and stopped for a second and announced, Mummy, your dress looks weird.

I looked down and to my utter horror realised it was inside out. OMG! In my defence it is an easy dress to wear inside out and after whipping it on and off forty billion times I really wasn't paying attention, I was fried.

This is what the lady waiting behind me in line got to read
this is what the cashier was looking at
this is how I thought I looked....GAH

According to my husband and oldest daughter: It's official, I am a crazy old lady who wears her clothes inside out in PUBLIC.

26 Feb 2012

First canoe trip

A few months ago I was talking to Lilys art teacher and he mentioned a kayaking tour that you can take in the Everglades National Park. Kayaks are something that we have wanted for a few years so we knew we had to check it out. Today the weather was perfect for such an adventure.

Whilst Jacob checked out all the options for kayak rental the girls and I took a wander.

Something about these palm trees made them perfect for lounging
I have never seen a sign before that warned about Vulture damage.
Something odd in a palm tree
Oh dear there is another one

Jacob decided that it would be more fun if we could all go together and the only way that was going to be possible was in a boat or a canoe. We choose a canoe.
There were very few rules, adults on either end, kids in the middle, kids must wear life jackets. That was it and as you will see we totally did what we were told, with the life jacket rule. The others, not so much.

The 3 of us

Rosie takes an oar
Lily takes over
Rosie and Lily are both in charge at this point
Daddy back in charge straightening us up.

Rosie up front
Lily up front. Changing places with these 2 in a canoe is hilarious. They aren't ever so graceful.
We saw some really beautiful things scattered throughout the mangroves.
We don't see many gulls around here but today we saw plenty
Majestic Blue Heron
This is where we were
Lily spotted this little fella, I'm not sure what it is.
A heart shaped leaf.

We saw a few of these.
This is a Florida Crocodile, not a Gator. This huge chap scared the living daylights out of Rosie. She was ready to get out of the canoe and get back on land. He was pretty large and gnarly!
Another Crocodile. These are quite rare, there are gators everywhere here but not so many crocs. Jacob was born here and this was the first time he ever saw one in the wild. (I see them a couple of times a week as one of my clients lives on the water and their neighbourhood is riddled with them.)

So fabulous to be this close to such a beautiful bird
She is sitting high above her nest
This is her nest.
The white birds, that you have to squint to see, are white pelicans. One of the park ranges had a fabulous telescope set up and he let us look through it at them. Really beuatiful

More gulls
crazy kid in a tree
There were signs everywhere that warned:
Do Not Feed Or Disturb The Wildlife.
Fine Up To $5,000
We explained to them when we first go there that the land and the water belonged to the birds and creatures and that we were only visiting so they must be respectful. They were. I think we scared alot of birds and gators and crocs and fish away whilst in the canoe with our raucous laughter but it was never intentional.

As we slowly meandered back to our car Lily spotted a flock of gulls. We told her she could try and creep up to them but was not to scare them away. Jacob tagged along. It didn't work!

We had such a fantastic day. Both girls fell asleep on the way home. We can't wait to go back again. We spotted a wild life rescue station on the way home so that is next on our list.

Thank you Mr. Terry for the fabulous suggestion. Share another gem with me please.

25 Feb 2012

Sans Children

My husband is nuts. He took the night off of work this evening and we made plans to go out, actually it happened the other way around, we had an invitation and then he took the night off.

My friend Jakie watched the girls for us and as each hour passed by and the time of our departure grew closer Rosie looked sadder and sadder. To cheer her up we went out in the Jeep for a little ride and then when we got back she played outside on her scooter. Wouldn't you know she wiped out. Wiped out right in front of the neighbour lady who is so overly protective of her little girl. She skinned her knee and her elbow. She'll mend, but in the meantime she calls it her gimping leg and her gimping arm and it didn't help to get her mind in the right place for our departure.

I digress. Jakie arrived and immediately we were forgotten and sailed smoothly out of the door and into the car. The entire time we were in the car Jacob kept talking to an empty back seat, "No Lily you can't put your window down, Yes Rosie we are almost there now, etc etc.". I asked him what he was doing and he said, staying in practice. The man needs serious help.

I love my girlies with all my heart but getting dressed up with make up on and sparkly jewellry and having my hubby by my side, also all dressed up, instead of a little person frantically clinging to my hand, feels really fabulous too. Even if he is completely off of his rocker.

24 Feb 2012

I think this is my new motto

Final tally for the HTS walkathon

I received an email last night from my friend Miriam, the lady that organised the Half the Sky Walkathon and the grand total is in.

Our little group of walkers raised, $1152.25 Miriams husband works for a company that matches charitable donations so we will be sending a huge check to HTS.

Thank you to everyone that donated.

23 Feb 2012


At some point between her birthday and now her birthday crown went from being this:

a birthday crown

To this:
a Super Heroes mask
I love the imagination of children, it's endless.

22 Feb 2012

Someone just shoot me now.

As most of you know I am a bit of a clean freak and a germaphobe. One of my all time fears is bugs in my house or on the kids. Yesterday Lily came out of school wagging a paper in her hand. It was the dreaded letter:

Dear Parents or Guardians.

There has been a case of head lice in your childs class. Blah blah blah.

Oh dear God, I nearly threw up. Lily told me that she was inspected and is clear of them. I threw the kids in the car and raced home and leapt onto the computer to see what I could find out. There was loads of information and there are even services that come to your house and get rid of them not only from your head but also your mattresses, carpets, pillows, stuffed toys, sofas, etc etc. I bookmarked one such company just in case.

Just as the kids were asking for snacks I threw them back in the car and headed out to buy shampoo that contained either tea tree oil, coconut or rosemary as head lice do not like the smell off any of those. Once we returned home I inspected both kids heads for the 90th time. I'm surprised by this point that their little scalps weren't bleeding from all my probing. I tried umpteen different hair doos on them to see which would keep their hair up and stay that way the longest.

This morning I sent them out the door with their hair slicked into place with gel.......I read that that keeps them at bay also.

One of the little girls in Lily's class that had them has been very mean to Lily on many occasions but with her typical compassion she said she felt so badly for her as she was crying and one teacher wasn't very nice to her and the kids were making fun of her. It was handled very poorly by the administration. She even said that when she comes back to school she will make an effort to be extra nice to her but I wasn't to worry she wouldn't let their heads touch! LOL

I knew we were beating the odds. Lily has been going to school for 6+ years and so far so good. Hopefully neither one will get them cos if they do I might just go off of the deep end.

I did finally give them snacks.

21 Feb 2012

Spotty Maldoone

I mentioned that on Saturday Rosie was having a nasty reaction to her DTaP shot. On Sunday she woke up covered in spots and still had a rotten fever. I rang the Dr's office to inquire about the spots and was told there was no way it was a reaction to the shot and that she was probably coming down with something. Ok, well that was helpful. I was really pissed off about the response. Rosie had a fever of 103. I wasn't just calling to be a pain in the arse.

Yesterday the fever was gone, her arm no longer looked like it belongs on Mr. T however she still had a deltoid that would make a muscle man proud and her fever was back within normal Rosie range however the spots were even worse. I rang the DR again and made an appointment for that afternoon. Our pediatrician wasn't in yesterday or today so we saw another who is my absolute favourite. He took one look at her and said, She has chicken Pox. He then read her file and realised she had been vaccinated against them twice shook his head and ordered a chickenpox test. It came back negative. He then ordered a test for scarlett fever which also came back negative. He touched, he scrutinised, he rubbed, he scowled, he made Rosie laugh so hard and then he quit!

After all that he said: I think this is an allergic reaction to the shot. (I wanted to yell, I KNEW IT, but I refrained.) He has never seen it before, he ruled out so many other possibilities and that is all that is left. He gave her a paper to take to school stating that she isn't contagious and said it should look a whole let better tomorrow.

It doesn't itch, it isn't painful she just looks like hell. Actually she looks like she slept in a bed with bedbugs.

20 Feb 2012

Oh my, how you have grown

In honour of Forever Day Rosie is fashioning the outfit that she was wearing on the day we met.

Even though I laundered everything myself when we got home I never ever removed the "Jennifers Tags" . Even on our clothes they have to fall off themselves. I can't just rip them off.

I keep this outfit packed away in her treasure box but once a year I pull it out. I daren't let her try on her socks from that day as I think she would have torn through the toes.

Happy Forever Day, Rosie

Happy Forever day Rosie.
Four years ago today we woke up early and wondered how we were going to keep ourselves busy until 2pm when we were going to the Civil Affairs Office, in Guandong Province to finally meet our baby girl.
Our youngest daughter, Lily's baby sister and cousin Andies newest cousin. We were all eager, all nervous and one of us particularly hyper. We spent the morning walking around Shamian Island browsing this and that and finally returned to the White Swan for lunch at their little cafe. We were all quite jiggy by this time and we took photos of the three of us for the last time. We finished lunch, went back up to our room and all got gussied up for the big event. There wasn't much gussing to be done by me as the laundry that we had delivered the day before came back wet and dirty so I was left with only one choice of clean clothes. Lily had a beautiful new dress and a pink ribbon for her hair that matched her new pink shoes. Jacob wore his red shirt.
Andie appeared at our door and it was time to meet downstairs for the drive to the Civil Affairs Office. I remember the bus ride as if was yesterday. Jacob video taped the four of us and I remember telling him that I was feeling happy, scared, nervous and over the moon all at once. He then turned to Andie and asked how she felt and she said she was nervous. He asked her why and I answered, she's scared that we are going to fall apart and she's going to have to do it all. We all laughed. Lily was coughing a little on the bus but I didn't give it a second thought.
We were finally there. Oh the feeling that sweeps over you in indescribable. We all walked in together, chatting, nervously giggling and looking at our respective partners for support. Lily was ready, we all were and it finally happened. A tiny little baby dressed in many layers of clothes due to the brutally cold weather was coming towards us in the arms of her nanny. Her little face was finally there in front of our eyes. The face we had fallen in love with 4 months ago. Lily touched her first. Andie manned the cameras and I just stood there staring in disbelief that my baby was finally about to be in my arms. I would be able to touch her, kiss her, smell her in mere seconds.
Oh how she cried, her heart was broken and how we cried, our hearts were finally whole.
Now 4 years later our little girl is still very shy. She still needs assurance before she tries anything new but as long as I am with her she can take on the world. 4 years ago she would have done anything possible to get back to her nannies and now she will do anything to never have to leave us. She tells me all the time she will never leave me, she won't get married and if she does her husband will live with us too. She will go to college but I am going as well.
She knows how loved she is but better than that she loves us too.
It was a tough road for her at first and I never thought I would be able to celebrate her Forever Day but we can now because she is starting to understand her story.
We love you Rosie and that will never ever change

That life changing moment.
This is Rosie, still in the HTS orphanage shortly before Gotcha Day
Playing with her nanny
Tiny baby, wearing the same socks that she wore in her referral photos.


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