31 Mar 2012

Spring cupcakes

Lily's new friends mum is a graduate of a culinary school. If she bakes cookies you drool at the sight of them, if she bakes cakes you just sort of want to dive in head first, well I do. Of course it doesn't hurt that she is also an extremely artsy crafty person as well. When we were at the pool the other day she casually she showed me some photos of a couple of her cakes, they were really gorgeous.

I decided to try something this morning with the girls, a little less, creative but fun and Easter/Springish none the less. Rosie immediately piped up in her horrified voice, "ohhh, you are copying Mari", which just made me giggle.The only common element in them was the use of Peeps. The girls had loads of fun and were really quite creative and they definitely ingested enough sugar to last them a whole week.

The end result is really cute but I have no idea what on earth I am going to do with all these little chickadees. I think we will be heading off to the neighbours that we know and wishing them a happy Spring and sharing some of the sugar cos they just can't stay here!

The funniest part was when I realised that I only had one box of Peeps and we needed 24. Without the girls noticing I went to my Easter stash and grabbed another box. Rosie suddenly realised and wanted to know where they came from. Lily just said, Mummy always hides candy in the house for herself, don't you know that yet!

The colours are really off today not sure what happened. Oh well they taste fine even if they look iffy in the photos.

30 Mar 2012

A first

A couple of days ago Rosie and I were in the car on our way to pick Lily up from school and she said, "Mummy, can we go to the movies and see the Cat In The Hat?" ( she meant the Lorax)I was shocked, really really shocked. We don't go to the movies. I know that sounds really awful but I really don't like it. I don't sit still very well and when you go to the movies you have to sit in one place for the entire time. I would much prefer to watch it at home and be able to pause it and get up and do something and then go back and watch a bit more later. Going to the movies NEVER enters my head. Going for a run with the kids or a bike ride or dashing about a park, yes all the time but sitting in a movie theatre, no. In the nearly 9 years that Lily has been home we have gone to the movies 3 times. Don't feel sorry for them they go with friends all the time.

So when this little voice asked to go the movies I was shocked. I was also shocked because this little person has never asked to go anywhere, ever. She has asked to play with friends or asked to go in the pool but to ask to be taken to a specific venue? I knew immediately that we would have to go. Today was a Teacher work Day so the kids had no school so it was perfect.

Now I had 2 problems, one being it was a movie at the movies and the other it was Dr. Seuss. I think I just might be the only person on the planet who cannot stand Dr. Seuss books. Really I can't. All that crazy rhyming mumbo jumbo and those nutty batty characters make my brain itch. I do think the man was brilliant, a genius in fact but his books I would like to SLAM Sam I am, and that freaking Cat in the Hat, for gods sake buy the darned cat a hat that fits! Of course as luck would have it Lily loved/s all those books and can Moo just as well as Mr. Brown. What a stupid book.

I digress. This afternoon we printed out our tickets and headed off to the movies. We walked into theatre number 6 and found that only 2 other families were there and plonked ourselves into our seats. I prepared myself for the torture to begin. It began. Within seconds Lily turned to me and said she thought she might go insane with all the crazy rhyming and Rosie asked me where the Cat In The Hat was. I knew it was going to be a long 1 hour and 26 minutes. ( oh, that's another thing I can't watch any movie unless I know how long it is before hand, even at home. I mean I really can't, I get quite frantic if I don't know.)

The rhyming stopped, the movie got going and it was brilliant, Rosie stopped looking for the bloody cat, Lily was hysterical, Rosie was giggling herself silly and before I knew it the credits were rolling and one of the best movies kids I have watched in a long time was over. It was really really great. There were some obvious signs of DR Seuss in it but not his maniacal signature everywhere and the story was actually interesting and worthwhile.

And you won't believe this part, when we were waiting for the movie to begin we saw trailers for 3 other movies that we absolutely have to see and I am not sure that I have to wait for them to come out on Blue Ray, I might even take the kids to the movies to see them.

Woo hoo, I'm a changed woman. (but I still can't stand Dr. Seuss books. )

This isn't it

As I still await the perfect photo of Lily swimming, one thing is for certain, this one isn't it.

She was at the end of a long relay, she had been fighting with her cap all night, her goggles had just slipped off and she was giving it every last ounce that she had. I just happened to pick up my phone and snap some photos. I wanted one as she dove in. I got that one but got this one too and it just made me laugh. It doesn't even look like her. The big bubble of spit is particularly attractive....she claims it is her expelling water. Me, I'm not so sure.
Her team won the relay.

28 Mar 2012

Don't blink

Don't blink. If you do you horrid things will happen. You will go from having a little, itty bitty, child who is this big:
To instantaneously having one that is this big.
Sigh. Lily turns 10 in two months. TEN. HOW?

27 Mar 2012

Mother of a teenager

My friend has had to leave the country for a week so I am playing Mummy to her teenage daughter. I think I will be grey and old by the time she comes back. Lets just say "Child" isn't exactly responsible and doesn't show much respect for guidelines, rules and anyone or thing other than herself. But she is really, really good at saying sorry and playing dumb. I was never this selfish when I was young. My parents would have had me hung, drawn and quartered.

We all sat down and laid out the ground rules before my friend left on Sunday and Jacob and I are just here to make sure they are carried out. We are not enforcing any of our own as we are not her parents.

Oh dear god help me please. I noticed a text at 7:08 this morning stating. I have gone home. Call me when you wake up. I rang immediately and "child" said I left at 4.40am cos I didn't feel good and didn't want to wake you.

Are you freaking kidding. You were out driving at 4;40 in the morning in Miami!!!!!!! You are meant to wake me.

Like I said I am going to be old and grey. The worst part in my mind, she told her mother a different story! She said she needed to use a printer. Oh one of those things that we have on our desk? That she asked if she could use last night. Well, maybe they don't work in the middle of the night, I don't know cos I have never tried.

She has to get up really early to get to school on time. Yesterday when I got up at 6 she was still asleep but that might be because she wasn't home when she was meant to be. She did get dressed and ready at warped sped and I met her at the front door with her breakfast ready to go.

I suppose it's a good thing that I am getting a taste of what teenagers are like now so that I can freeze dry Lily and Rose at the age of 10 and then fast forward them and defrost them when they are twenty! At least then only half my head will be gray.

HELP. I'm scared, the teenage years years are looking scary as all hell.

26 Mar 2012

The swimmer

I love to watch swimmers, swimming the butterfly. It is such a powerful stroke and when done correctly they plough their way through the water with incredible force. Lily isn't there yet but she is getting there. When the older kids are doing "the fly" we have talk a little louder as they make so much noise. I always turn and watch them as many of them are in perfect unison and it was really lovely to see.

Lily is just starting to really heave herself out of the water.

If you click on this photo and then continue to click it it is like a video in slow motion. This was neither my nor her best attempt. ( I was holding my camera sideways for some stupid reason) This is the stroke that I really want to capture urghhhhh. Keep on swimming Lily and I'll keep on trying

She is up quite high here but here arms are all kittywompas. Quite amazing isn't it that suddenly I'm an expert in these matters and use official swimming terms such as kittywompas.

25 Mar 2012

Oh Dear

Do you remember the Love Tree that we made for Valentines day? It came out so nice and I couldn't wait to make the Easter one. I should have waited. It came out looking like vomit! And that's being kind!

We had fun doing it but even as they painted and decorated the wooden eggs things weren't coming together colourwise. Something just wasn't quite right. I wasn't feeling it but I didn't say anything. I thought it was just my OCD and maybe it was cos the kids loved it.

One thing I do love is the seed pod that Lily picked up on our walk to gather the twigs that I suggested she turn into a little sign that says Happy Easter.

Maybe I had really big visions i my head and nothing could have lived up to them.

It's the fun factor that really counts and we had lots of that. Maybe the birthday trees that are sprouting in my mind will work out better. On second thoughts maybe I should squelch them now!

Lily's Happy Easter Sign
Hard at work

oh the concentration

Could be St Pattys day with that colour
Lily's pretty bow
The barf tree

Don't worry, they don't read this unless I want them to see something. By they time they do they'll laugh too.

24 Mar 2012

Did that really just happen

I grew up surrounded by my Fathers family and saw them all everyday. My mothers family lived a few hundred miles away, in York so we only saw them a couple of times a year and it was always cause for a big celebration and a lot of excitement. Louise and I are the same age, and Joanna is closer to my sisters age but in fact the same age as my brother.

Something happened one day as things often do in families and I believe my mother and her brother had a tiff. The two of them made amends many years ago but I never saw them again. Ever. I saw my Auntie and Uncle at my Mothers funeral but haven't ever seen my cousins for nearly 40 years. Gulp I can't believe I can write that. I'm old.

We became FB friends about a year ago and caught each other up with our lives "Cliff Notes" style and shared photos etc. It was great to be back in touch. A couple of months ago Joanna sent me a PM saying that she would be in Miami overnight and would we like to have dinner.

We had dinner tonight. The kind of dinner that you really don't want to end because you still have so much to talk about but you know you have to end it as the kiddies are tired, very very tired and it just isn't fair to them. So now I am back at home and I keep saying to myself, I had dinner with Joanna and Keith and then I shake my head in disbelief.

Lily keeps saying to me, "Mummy, Joanna is so pretty". That is what I remember from being a little girl, just how pretty Joanna was. That hasn't changed at all.

23 Mar 2012

It's all my brothers doing

My brother is not at all materialistic and is also one of the greenist people I know and was long before any of us realised the importance of being good to our earth. He is constantly concerned about his carbon footprint.

Earlier this week he threw away a sweater, not just any sweater but one that our Mum had knitted for him some 25 years ago. He posted about it on Facebook and the comments he received ranged from hilarious to downright sad to one that even suggested he unravel it and re-knit another one. One friend said she wouldn't know him without that jumper and I have to admit that I am so used to seeing him in it that it will be odd to know it is gone. Parting with it was not an easy decision for him I am sure because he parts with NOTHING but more importantly our Mummy isn't with us anymore.

The parting of this sweater inspired me to go through my own closet. something that for me was long overdue. I haven't changed size in years. I have lost weight during stressful times and regained the same weight but never changed size so I have had the same clothes for years and years. Some clothes in my closet have been given to me and still have the tags on and will always have the tags on as long as they hang there. Many of my favourite clothes have past their expiry date but I can't part with them. Some of them should possibly never have been made. Most of my tops are white, in fact 90% of the tops on my closet are white and they won't change any time soon. Only 2 of the ones that went bye bye today were white but they were replaced with 2 white ones prior to the old ones leaving.

I have so many pairs of shoes that finding the matching ones each day causes so much frustration that family members have been known to run for cover. I got rid of some but also got some new ones first. I wasn't replacing item for item but I was replenishing my wardrobe. I got rid of tonnes of stuff and only got a couple of new bits.

I suddenly have loads of room in the closet and it feels fabulous. I can find things and that feels great. I know longer have to squeeze things in. I know longer have to look at things I don't really like, or cringe at things that people gave me and feel guilty for not wearing them. Oh and all the extra hangers, well that's just an added bonus. I hope all those black bags full of clothes make the people at G00dwill good and happy.

What will that green jumper inspire you to do?

22 Mar 2012

The impact

I've struggled with the words for this post for a couple of days. I start it, read it, delete it, start it, delete, redo it and so it goes. I know what I am trying to say but it is all so close to my heart that it all comes out in a jumble.

It started a couple of days ago when Lily came home from school and said that one of the mean girls came up to her and out of the blue said, " you must really hate Mothers Day because you don't know who your real Mother is."

The Mama Bear in me wanted to find out who the little bitch is so that I can deck her. THe Mummy in me asked her what she had said and how she felt. The teacher in me wanted to talk to the girl to make her understand the weight of her words. The Mother in me wanted to cry and protect Lily so that she doesn't have to hear this nonsense again. I am tired of her being reminded of the life she has lost.

When she was little it was her story and hers alone. strangers would ask questions but she was just too young to understand. As she got bigger we made the story a kind one that she understood and if strangers asked questions out of place we cut them off with a smile and a short answer but now, now she is bigger and the kids are bigger and they are getting nasty and we are not there, not that I think that would help. Lily has all the answers, she knows what to say and how to deal with the comments but I wish they would stop. The worst part is knowing that she wishes they would stop.

She is fine with being adopted. She would like to know her birth family. She wants to know who she looks like. Did she get her crooked thumbs from her Mum or her Dad? She has questions. That's natural. Well I think it is.

In the adoptive community adoptive parents have this way of calling themselves the real parents, and the birth parents, the bio parents. It really doesn't matter what we call ourselves because it really isn't up to us to choose that title. It should be up to our children to decide who is who. We are Lily's parents, (Rosie's too of course,) and there is no question about it. Lily loves us with all her heart but if you ask us who her real parents are she will say her Chinese parents. I will tell you from the bottom of my heart that it does not hurt at all. They gave her life and in her mind, that makes them real. The first time she said it, it stung but when I thought about it through her mind, I saw it her way.

It doesn't however give every Tom, Dick and Harry the right to throw it in her face. A friend contacted me today to tell me that her daughter (also adopted from China) was leaving gymnastics last week and a classmate turned to her and said, it must suck to be adopted! The kids Mum then added, Yes it must, poor Grace. My friend was speechless and grabbed Grace's hand and marched out of the gym.

Lily has had quite a few comments made about adoption at school lately.

She told me yesterday that she wishes people would "get" adoption. I asked her if she says anything and she told me that she usually ignores them. The only people that get it are her China sisters and she doesn't discuss it with them because she doesn't need to because they get it.

It's not going to go away and it's not going to get any easier.

20 Mar 2012

A misconception

For the most part the British are conceived as a stiff and cold bunch, void of warmth, emotion and affection. Certain topics are surely never discussed in British households and many subjects, clearly taboo. Keep a stiff upper lip and carry on. That's how we are conceived.

Allow me to educate you on the real Great Britain. Grab a cuppa and sit back for a few whilst I tell you a little tale, a true tale of something that happened in that stiff, puritanical country last week.

If the average American family visits the United Kingdom they will need to pack in their hand luggage two necessary items, one being a blindfold and the other earmuffs. I will start with the reason for the latter item, the earmuffs. They will of course be quite handy if you travel in the winter as we did, to keep your ears from freezing off your head but that purpose is secondary only to your need to slam them over your childrens ears should you at anytime walk past a television. I was watching television with my sister one evening, after the girls were in bed, and every other word was f*** or S*** or Bollocks. ( I didn't even use an asterisk for that word as most Americans have never even heard of it as it is one of our best kept secrets and one of my favourite words.) It wasn't an R rated movie just an ordinary show and it wasn't a one off thing. This is typical language on the telly over there. I know you are shocked aren't you that we Brits know and use such dirty words? But there you are the British swear and not just words like, "bloody and bugger" but horrid ones too. I am so used to that annoying little bleep emanating from my telly that I nearly fell out of my chair when the F-bomb shot out of it instead.

The other necessary item is the blindfold. This takes precedence over the earmuffs as the Brits, those Puritanical people that they are not, have no problem with nudity at all. Nope, not one bit. Not on the telly, in magazines, in adverts, not anywhere. Doesn't seem to matter where you you will see a naked person. It made Rosie giggle cos she is only 5 and Lily just said, Rosie, it's only a naked person. It's over here where nudity is taboo. People over here apparently have faces, ears, arms, hands, legs, feet and clothing.

My girls are used to the British way of life because of me. I want them to grow up with open and liberal minds. There is one little area though that took even me totally off guard. The day we went to London we took the underground wherever we needed to go. At first the girls were to excited to do anything but sit still with big goofy smiles on their faces but as the rides grew more frequent Lily started to read the signage and adverts. She was sitting opposite me and next to a businessman all dressed up in his suit and carrying his brief case. Out of the clear blue sky she asks, in a very loud voice, Mummy, what are condoms? The man in the suit cracked up and I followed her eyes above my head to an advert for safe sex. Oh no she didn't just ask me that on a crowded train? Oh yes she did. The man was waiting for my answer. I answered her briefly and told her I would tell her more when Rosie wasn't about.

Damn those Puritans and their straight laced life would surely never have such a thing on their trains. Not on the same trains that the school kids use to commute to and from school on. Well, they do. The one about Man Rape took a bit more explaining. I never realised that in one day we would learn about the worlds biggest diamond, buildings that are over 900 years old and condoms and rape and that so many subjects would be offered for free in a country where people supposedly say the word sex in hushed tones.

And I thought 4th grade was tough over here. IT was an educational trip this time around in so many ways.

Bollocks, next time I'm driving in London, I don't care how much it costs to park my car. LOL

19 Mar 2012


For some odd reason blogger is not co-operating to day and it is placing the photos below the Link Within so you will have to scroll down to see them.

A few days before we left, Rosie's teacher sent home a note stating that a piece of Rosie's art was being displayed at the Dade County Youth Fair. We knew we were going to have to go and see it.

I asked Rosie what it was and she told me it was, 3 little pigs. Off we went into the Exhibitor Hall and searched through 1,000's of drawings looking for the 3 little pigs. An attendant came up over and asked what we were looking for and as I turned to tell her I noticed even more "stuff" hanging from the ceiling. As I was talking to her I kept looking up and there, high above my head, was Rosie's Batik banner. There were no pigs at all she got that part completely wrong.

Rosie's is the yellow one to the far right.
I think it is really pretty
You can just make out her name
Oh la la, she won a ribbon.

I really like it, the banner not the ribbon, and hope it somehow makes it's way back to school and then to us.

She was so proud of herself.

18 Mar 2012

Out with a bang

Since we really had a fantastic Spring Break we wanted it to end with a bang for the kidlets so we took then to a place we despise, The Dade County youth Fair. They loved it. It was surprisingly empty and due to intermittent cloud cover not to terribly hot. jacob and I rode the rides with them, we played silly midway games with them and ate a few elephant ears with them. Rosie commented, " I had no idea that ears could taste this good". No, we didn't tell her they were not real Elephant ears, she'll figure it out on her own by the time she's 30, just like I did.

This was the first ride we went on. note the happy faces
those happy faces changed a bit by the time we got to the top of this hill.
Lily flying down Niagara Falls
Daddy took Lily into the house of mirrors and this was the only way out.
Baby Llama, no more of your Llama drama
one little girl in heaven
Firefighter Rose
Love this photo
I think they liked it!

Look at her face here, it's priceless. We finally convinced her to go on a ride by herself.
The absolute best part of the fair, the elephant ears. Having to wait for them to cool down is the worst part of the fair.

There was a very special attraction at the fair but it deserves it's own post.

I can't believe we are full speed ahead now to summer vacation. Only a few more weeks of school left. This year truly shot by. This is the toughest part of the year for them. Lily has her FCAT's and there are very few days off from here on out. It's daft how all the teachers work days are done as this is the part when the kids are fried and could really do with a break and I am sure the teachers could too. Oh well, buckle up cos here comes summer.

17 Mar 2012

Like Mother, like child

Whenever we fly out of Heathrow we have a little routine that we stick to like glue. Check-in, clear security, have breakfast, and then finally, hit the shops! I love the shops at Heathrow. The reason we have breakfast there is because we have to get up so early to make it in to London in time for the early morning Trans-Atlantic flights. I just can't bring myself to force the girlies to eat breakfast and 4am.

Yesterdays flight left a little later but the girls still had to be up early so we followed our routine. This routine always includes a souvenir for them and it helps to chase away the blues of saying, "see you later" to my family.

They wanted to shop at, London London, yesterday so we did. They chose police hats for souvenirs. I have no idea what I was thinking as they were so bloody big and really hard to cram, I mean gently place, in their carry-ons.

They just made me and every other passenger in the airport smile as they walked around wearing them. They even wore them onto the plane. They love them.

If this doesn't make you smile you just might be dead
Lily cracked up the whole time she had it on. U.S. immigration didn't find it amusing but htey never find anything amusing.
Look at this face...it kills me
This is the reason why I didn't post them yesterday. I knew somewhere I had a photo of me wearing one when I was little and I needed to post it as well.

16 Mar 2012


How can I really still be in the same day?

My sister drove us to the airport early this morning and sadly it was an uneventful drive. She didn't get lost once! We said some quick, see you later's and headed through security.

We followed our usual routine and then once our gate was on the board we headed towards it. at least we thought we had but I had read part of one line and part of another and we were waiting in line with boarding passes in hand to board the Virgin flight. Oppps. For those of you who have never been to Heathrow, its a very long way from gate 18 to 32. We ran the whole way.

Shortly after we got off of the plane we realised that a Mrs Doubtfire look a like had been sitting next to Lily and all 3 of us started to laugh and couldn't stop. This lady even had the same sort of tights and shoes as Mrs. Doubtfire. She wasn't at all chatty on the flight so we didn't pay much attention to her but she could have been a body double for her.

Profile photo of Mrs Doubtfire. She even walked the same way.

15 Mar 2012


We spent a fabulous time today in the car with Auntie Sally and Grandpa. We were heading for the Roald Dahl Museum but my sister, who has a Sat Nav decided she didn't need to use it, alrighty then.

After about 2 hours we found it. Lily is a huge Roald Dahl fan and couldn't wait to go. Sadly it didn't live up to all the hype but we had a great time anyway. It's not often we all get together so any time with each other is lovely.

By the time we got there it was lunch time so we headed straight for the Twit Cafe. Lily is drinking Fizzlecrumper.
Grandpa. It's so funny he never looks happy in photos but he is a really happy fun person
Inside the museum
Rosie acquired a new friend
Roald Dahls actual writing den
Lily sitting in the chair
I saw this as we walked through the town and loved it.

I am grudgingly about to turn the computer off so that I can pack it in my hand luggage and put it by the front door ready for an early departure in the morning. BLECH.

We have had a really wonderful time. We stayed with my sis and BIL for the first time. It was fun.
The kids are still running around and don't want to go to bed because they want to spend every last second with their Crazy Auntie Sally and Mad Uncle Andy. I can't blame them at all. I knew this was a short trip but it seems to have flown by.

Awww, gotta go and unplug myself. Sigh


Related Posts with Thumbnails