31 Aug 2012

The case of the disappearing blog

Three days ago I noticed that the whole right side of my blog was missing. No photos, archives, doo-dads, trackers, nada. I decided not to panic and then on second thoughts panicked anyway as that is what I do. I tore into my layout and found that everything is is still there but for reasons that I cannot figure out it just isn't showing up.

I assumed it was only me that couldn't see it but you know what they say about assuming things. Turns out that some of you can't see it either. Turns out some of you can't see a lot more than just the side bar.

If you are having problems seeing parts or all of the blog can you let me know. Oh duh, that was a blond statement, if you can't see any of it how are you going to be reading this!

And if by chance you can see everything PLEASE leave me a comment and tell me that it is still there.

Thank you,

30 Aug 2012

Seeing the world through Lily's eyes

Even when she pushes me to the very brink of my sanity, she always manages to make me laugh. This child of mine has an impish spirit about her. In most things that she does she finds the humour.

Tonight she was studying for a science test and asked me to quiz her. Every single answer she gave was in a perfect, and very over the top, British accent. She can even say words, that until a few days ago she had never heard before, in a voice that would make the Queen proud and would remind my brother of his Public schooling. I shot her "the Look" a few times but all efforts at stopping her were futile.

I hope she never loses her carefree happy spirit. Life is just to short to dwell and be sad.

29 Aug 2012

Open house night

The girls school had open house this evening. It was the best one I have ever attended. Rosie has Ms. Valle, I know her really well as she taught Lily in Kindergarten also and I've seen her every year since. Lily has Ms. Tamargo in the morning and Ms. Suarez in the afternoons and these ladies are fabulous, just fabulous.

I was a tad concerned about meeting Lil's teachers this year. I'm not familiar with them at all and for some strange reason Lily has turned into my Father in a span of 9 days. She has been saying the most odd things that just shouldn't be coming out of the mouth of a 10 yr old and she reminds me of my dad. She has this flip way about her but sadly it is cracking me up and it really shouldn't me. I think it is the element of surprise.

 Ms.Suarez teaches language arts and she had sent all the kids of to the library to get a book but unbeknownst to her Lily has a huge amount of books at home and didn't need a library book however Lily failed to tell this to her teacher. Apparently Lil' spent 30 minutes in the library and came back empty handed. When asked where her book was she replied: I couldn't find one. Before Lily could go any further with this story I interupted her,

Me: You spent 30 minutes in a room with 1,000s of books and couldn't find one?

Lily: Those were Ms. Suarez' words

Me: Seriously Lily, not one?

Lily: Your doing it again Mum, those were her exact words.

Me: Why didn't you get one?

Lily: I have a book I don't need one.

Me: You should have got a back up book.

Lily: I have a back up on the book shelf.

Me: did you tell her that you have a tonne of books?

Lily: She doesn't need to know that about me, that's TMI.

Me: Well, why did you even go to the library in the first place?

Lily: She told me to.

Me: Oh Lily.

Yesterday as I picked her up from school and we were walking to the car she said she had been to the library again.

Me: oh did you get a book this time?

Lily: yep.

Me: amazing, what did you get?

Lily: Caddie Woodlawn.

Me: What, Why? That's the book you are already reading isn't it? Why on earth would you get the exact same book again? Now I am laughing.

Lily: She said get a book and I really like it.

Me: Oh Lily. Really? Two of the same book?

Lily: I have another one too?

Me: do you have that one as well?

Lily: No.

Me: oh good.

So you see as I entered the classroom tonight for  open house I thought that the teacher might just give me the stink eye for the whole hour because I am the Mum of the weird and annoying kid but she didn't. Turns out she likes her. She did however tell this funny story about a kid who loves to read and as I was leaving she called over to me and said, Oh BTW, the kid that likes to read in that story is Lily. Oh good grief.

I have the class clown but her humour is so very very dry. If she was a child when my father and Uncle John were kids she would have been in heaven. She seems to think that hse can say things that my dad can say. She doesn't say them to be rude but to be funny and she is funny, really really funny but she is going to get into trouble.

I see detention in her future.

Rosie came out of school in floods of tears today. I swept her up in my arms and as all the mums came over to see what terrible crime had been committed against the child, I walked away from them all to speak to her and calm her down in private. Turns out her best friend in the whole world, Saywer, was naughty in music so the teacher put him on orange light and Rosie couldn't bare the idea of that indignation. Her bestie was in trouble and that was to much for her tender little heart to take. Ms. Valle asked to speak to me and told me what had happened and said when she walked back into the room the tears were pouring down Rosies face. It scared her she thought something terrible had happened to her. She made everything right and immediately put Sawyer back on green light and told me, confidentially that the teacher had no right to do that in her classroom. This is only the 6th day of school and she never uses yellow light during the first 2 weeks when the kids are all getting used to being in school.

Oh well I've got one that is now terrified of the music teacher.

27 Aug 2012

Send the ark

Holy smoke Batman it's been raining straight for days and we are flooded. I drive an SUV so this makes things a little better but when I returned from work this morning I had issues getting back into my neighbourhood. I found 2 wheeling as opposed to 4 wheeling was the way to go. What that involves is only 2 wheels on the road, the other 2 wheels were either on the path or the median strip whichever appeared to be the shallowest point. Probably not legal but it worked. I have to go out again later and that should be a real treat.

Yesterday afternoon we had a break in the nastiness and we headed out with the girls to South Beach, we are rebels that way. The wind was howling but the rain was gone, well apart from the occasional feeder band, which would send horizontal rain lashing sideways across the road. Once we arrived at the beach there wasn't a soul to be found. Most businesses were closed. I didn't take my camera, which was a great decision as in seconds by glasses were coated in salt and I didn't want the same treatment for that, and the place was  ghost town. We snuck down to the beach and the kids had the best time playing against the wind. You could lean into it and it would hold you up. it was hilarious. We stood really close to Rosie just in case. We stayed there for about 20 minutes just being silly, all alone. Then we headed back towards the car and the kids played on a playground. Jacob noticed a chap pointing at something and looked up but not fast enough, a feeder band was coming as we got soaked running for the car. I had bought a couple of towels so all was good.

We stopped on the way home at a swanky little ice cream shop and were able to celebrate Gotcha Day by having Ice Cream in the rain. It worked for us and made us smile.

By late afternoon the storm appeared to be gone and the fuss caused  by the media was much bigger than Isaac himself. Sadly he now seems to be on a direct course to Lousiana as a Cat 2.

The girls had fun making hairbows and we have a game of Monopoly on the go so I need to get back to it....I'm losing. Jacob, is some wicked slum lord and Rosie, well lets just say, she may have a future is real estate.

26 Aug 2012

The Day that changed my life forever

Nine years ago today in Hubei Province, China, a scared yet incredibly strong 14 month old child was handed to me. She was to become my daughter forever. She had endured so much in her short life, more than any one person ever should yet she had and still has a sparkle to her, a light that no amount of pain could ever extinguish.

She is my heart, she became the part of me that made me whole.

When I met this little soul I knew the true meaning of love and the true meaning of destiny for the first time. Words that once held a shallow meaning suddenly held depth. Everything in my life was now the right way up and my life held a new meaning. I was a person that was driven.

I thought I had my life before her but I was wrong. I knew something was missing but I had no idea that everything was missing. I knew that I wanted her but I didn't realise how much I needed her. Until I held her, felt her, smelled her, I couldn't allow myself to know just how much I needed her. It hurt too much.

This child, my child, my daughter, isn't one that I take for granted. I still smile when I see her, I still look at her as if it is the first time because to me it is the first time. To me it is a miracle that she is mine.

Lily, you rock my world, you make me laugh, cry, giggle, mad, crazy, frustrated, proud, happy, and you make me do it all with more passion than I have ever done it before.

Lilipop, my world is a much more colourful one with you in it. Thank you for being my girl.

I will love you forever,


25 Aug 2012

Splish Splosh

It's that time of year again, hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and tonight here in our house we are sitting under a Hurricane watch playing the waiting game. It gets old really quick because the media loves a hurricane and gives it lots of attention and that makes the natives get all sorts of mental.

Tropical storm Isaac is meant to become a Hurricane sometime tomorrow and make landfall somewhere over the Florida Keys sometime tomorrow. As you can see there are lots of variables in that sentence. No way of knowing where Isaac is going to go exactly hence the waiting game.

We are ready. All supplies have been purchased, both cars are full of gas, we have cash, don't get crazy, not that much, the generator is working, the gas tank for that is at the ready and the gas tanks for the BBQ are standing at attention. The kidlets have lots of rainy day crafts to do and today we went to a movie while the rest of this county went absolutely nuts at either the grocery store or the gas station. It's good to be prepared ahead of the game you as can stay well clear of the nut jobs.

Now we hurry up and wait. It's been raining all day here and it wasn't even related to the storm. I now have lake front property. The thunder just started again and I think now this might actually be the start of the feeder bands.

This one is just a baby but you still have to pay attention. It was 20 yrs ago yesterday that Hurricane Andrew blew through and changed our lives for ever. If you've gone through one like that you don't take them lightly ever again but you also don't get nuts every time one is mentioned you just do what needs to be done and get on with it.

To all my friends in Isaacs path, stay safe.

24 Aug 2012

Life is coming up Rosey

A few little Rosie snippets cos it's been awhile.

Rose doesn't sneeze she has "bless you's" and as soon as she has a "bless you" you better immediately say bless you or she will get upset.

She still uses a Loff joff instead of a washcloth.

At age five most Rosie-ism are long gone yet she still says, dis, dat, dare, and doze instead of this, that, there and those. It drives me up the wall.

She also, done something instead of did something, which is another pet peeve.

Her blanket is still needed but only at a night. This is something new but since school started it appears to have been all but forgotten. Her thumb is the same story.

She spends most of her time talking to herself when she plays by herself and it's hilarious. She has a great imagination and her games always involve saving people and odd costumes.

Her lisp completely disappeared on it's own but will make an occasional re-appearance is she is very sleepy.

The other day she was looking at a photo of me when I was a child and didn't know who it was. When I told her it was me she replied, Wow, really, but you weren't even Chinese then. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer bless her.

Rosie loves to help me cook and the bigger the knife or the bigger the gadget she is using the happier she is.

She still loves playing "casher casher", that would be any game she can play that used her cash register. That is the best money I have ever spent! Child spends hours being the casher casher lady.

Yesterday in the car we were listening to kids songs and London's Burning was playing. After a few verses I realised that Rosie was singing, Lunch is burning, Lunch is burning, call the engines, call the engines. She won't believe me that the real words are London's burning!

She has grown really tall but still only tips the scales at 31lbs, scrawny little thing.

Who wears these?

23 Aug 2012

Taking gargantuan strides

I have no idea what has happened to Rosie in the last 6 weeks but I like it. She has developed a confidence about her and a sense of adventure that was not there before. I have no explanation and I keep looking at her quizzically and asking the real Rosie to please step forward. When I say this she looks at me utterly perplexed.

I first noticed it when the girls and I went to Tampa and she decided to ride all the big rides with no prompting from any one. Even after she rode one that scared her silly she still carried on to the next one without batting an eye. Then when we were in North Carolina she zip-lined and was attached to a stranger and whisked away by him and had no problem with it at all. 

These were not small little things for her, they were huge and very long overdue but that's beside the point. I made a point to say something to her about it but I didn't want to go overboard in case she wasn't aware of this new found bravery and immediately resorted back to her Chicken Little behaviour.

As the new school year loomed like a dark cloud I could feel her getting antsy. We talked it through and did all we could to ease her nerves. Monday morning was painless. There were tears in her eyes but nothing compared to years gone by and she even said she wanted to go back. Say what? Who is this kid and what has she done with the real Rosie? 

She was very concerned about the fact that in Kindergarten you get dropped off and are no longer walked to your class room. For the past 2 years classroom drop off has been mandatory and as for as I am concerned it has made her life 1,000 times worse. She of course loved it because she got to keep me with her for a few extra minutes every single day. This is bad for a kid who hates to separate. I need to get out of there and the faster the better. Monday and Tuesday were walk in days but yesterday was D- Day, drop off day. 

I asked Lily if there was anyway that she could walk Rosie to her area and still get all the way to her area and be on time, she said of course she could and of course she would. I told her didn't have to as nobody walked her in when she was 5. She said that if the kids have younger siblings they are expected to do it. I straightened her out and said no, you are expected to walk out with them not in. You do not have to do this especially if it will make you rush. She told me she wanted to. (be still my heart)

I told Rose that I would be driving them through the drop off lane and that Lily would help her find her way to her area and that would be that. She seemed OK with it and even went to sleep with no worries.

Yesterday morning all was going well until we reached the car lane and it was at a stand still. People were parking and getting out and totally screwing it all up. We had plenty of time but I really didn't want Lily to feel rushed so I pulled the car over to the side and told them to get out right there. They were laughing and giggling and Lily even managed to drop her lunch which made things even funnier. Rosie didn't even realise that she hadn't kissed me until I asked for one. Without as much as a glance over her shoulder she took off holding her sisters hand and skipped merrily into school. 

I'm so happy for her. So glad that she is finally realising that she can do this stuff without having a heart attack. I couldn't wait to pick them up  to see what happened after I was gone. 

I really wasn't expecting to hear what I did: it turns out that Rosie was one of only a handful of kids that didn't cry . Lily said alot of them were crying at the gate and even more were crying on the covered patio. Oh wait, that's not all of it. In the cafeteria our neighbours little girl, Rosie's friend, was crying and Rosie took it upon herself to find out what was wrong. 

Oh please lets not have any setbacks I'm loving this freedom for her. I'm loving the fact that she is gaining some confidence, she really deserves it and god only knows it is really really long overdue. Why take baby steps when you can take gargantuan strides? 

Off they go together. Mummy who?

22 Aug 2012


Two days ago I was stopped dead in my tracks by the realisation of just how alike my daughters are in personality to my sister and I. How I have never realised it before I will never know. My sister will probably tell you it's because, I am the slower sister.

Lily and Rose are polar opposites in personality. It's not that I am comparing them, this isn't about achievements and who did what first, this is about who they are. Lily is bold and out going, she has a take charge, be the leader personality while Rosie is more reserved, shy, doesn't want to be in the spot light and has no desire to lead. No thanks, she will follow or just stay put.

Sally, my big sister was Lily and I was Rosie. I have definitely changed and now I am fiercely independent and a leader but as I child, I would rather crawl under a rock than be noticed. Sally was the popular one, she was the one with the more out going personality. She could and would take charge in an instance, just like Lily. Lily remains calm and has an innate way of knowing what to do even in a situation that is foreign to her. I would panic or if I was doing really well I would just be worrying, alot, just like Rose. I still worry but not like I did as a kid.

When I was about 10 my mother was in hospital and my sister picked me up from school. As soon as we walked into the house we, no no, she knew something was wrong because the dog was going ape. She immediately started looking around and found a downstairs chimney to be on fire. She, oh so calmly, walked to the phone, dialed 999, reported the problem, hung up and rang my father at work without batting an eyelid. I on the other hand started running in circles screaming, the house is on fire, the house is on fire. Once she put the phone down with daddy she slapped me! ( I think she had seen that done on T.V. to calm down hysterical woman) It worked and I calmed down and did what she said. She took me and the dog and we headed outside. By the time the fire engine arrived I was a basket case again and she just remained as cool as a cucumber.

The fire engine skidded to a stop and all hell broke loose which didn't help my nerves at all. Sally showed them where to go, all the time tripping over her nervous Nelly sister who insisted on getting in the way. My Father arrived minutes later.

I can tell many stories of how she saved the day or saved me or saved the neighbourhood by her actions. She was just that way. Calm and in charge. Just the way Lily is. I use the word, "unflappable" to describe Lily all the time but it also describes my big sister. Perhaps that's just how big sisters are.

Rosie will panic and worry if the weather man says it's going to rain. If it doesn't rain right away she worries if we go out it will rain on her. She needs an umbrella and boots and a raincoat just in case. That was me. If we were waiting for our flight I didn't understand why we waited for it to be called whilst sitting in the departure lounge, surely it would be better to just go and stand by the plane somewhere so we couldn't miss it. Sally would be off somewhere in the airport, happy to fly by the seat of her pants.

Lily will chat with anyone, Rosie not so much. Sally was always adept in social situations whereas I would blush and actually stutter if I had to talk to people. Unfortunately for me, our Father owned a business that kept us quite visible in our town so being thrust into peoples faces was a daily occurrence and I hated it.

I remember on Tuesdays and Thursdays going for tutoring at the Convent with the nuns (and we aren't even Catholic) and if when the clock struck 6 I couldn't hear my Fathers shoes walking up the gravel driveway I would burst into tears because I was sure he had forgotten me. Sound like a daughter of mine? My sister probably would have flung her books in her bag, jumped up from the table and said, "See Ya" and headed for the door. I never had the nerve to do anything.

I never ever got into trouble at school. I'm telling you I was really pathetic. Sally, well that's for her to tell. Bwa ha ha.

My kids are a replica of my sister and I. Egads, I think I need to be very scared.

And talking of scared... this is very scary. Sisters

21 Aug 2012

It all went well, considering.

I purchased the girls uniforms a few weeks ago and when I asked Lily what coloured shirts she wanted this year she was adamant that she only wanted white. I was fine with that as white is much cooler but I suggested that she get at least ONE other colour. She chose a red one.

Yesterday morning as she was getting dressed she suddenly decided, with huge amounts of drama, that she couldn't possibly wear a white shirt, even though she had picked it out the night before. In fact she couldn't wear white shirts at all. I decided that I wasn't about to wage a war on the first day of school so I sort of calmly walked into her closet and got out her red one and then I might have mentioned that she then only had ONE freaking shirt for the entire school year. But I didn't, I bit my tongue. They can have plain Polo's and you can buy the school logos and sew them on but the school happens to be out of logos at the moment and she won't be out of uniform cos she is anal just like someone else we know. Then I might have said, with arm waving drama, that I was going to really enjoy trying to find plain polos in Miami the day THAT school started and that I was sure it would be a whole lot of fun. But I didn't, no, I bit my tongue so hard that I have a welt on it the size of Manhattan cos that's what you do on the first day of school cos you want, NO DRAMA.

Once both little darlings were dressed we headed down stairs and off we went. Once they were safely ensconced in the halls of learning I drove Hells Half Acre trying to find plain Polo's for my dear sweet 10 yr old. I found 2 in her school colours, a black one and a red one. She now has 3 that she can wear. One thing I learnt: school clothes are really really cheap once school has started. You can buy shirts for $4. Who the heck wants to?

When I left the girls at school, Rosie looked as if she was about to cry and Lily looked as if her world was about to end due to the lack of friends in her class. Fast forward a couple of hours. Rosie appeared at the gate holding her teachers hand looking a little pensive because she couldn't see me over the tall people. Once she found me she came running and words came flying: running, laughing, great, cafeteria, and on and on she went. She loved it and really really loved Mrs Valle. She even said she couldn't wait to go back tomorrow.

Last night as she was laying in bed she said she hopes she never gets a red light and I told her nobody EVER gets a red light so she said she hopes she never gets a yellow light. So I took a big dramatic breath and said, RoRo, if you do don't worry about it to much, I know you will learn your lesson. When Lily was in Mrs Valle's class she got a yellow light every single week! Kidlet sat up so fast I nearly laughed, her eyes got super big, she stared me straight in the face and said, My Lily? Yes Ro Ro, your Lily, the sister that you think is so perfect got a yellow light every single week and one time she got it three times in one week. Kidlet nearly fell over. What did she do Mama?  Your sister is a chatterobx, Rosie!

And with that she put her thumb in her mouth and went to sleep.

As for Lily. She came be bopping out of school just as happy as a lark. All smiles. Yipping and yapping as always. I told Jacob not to probe her for information about her day but to let her open up a bit if she was quiet. Hah, no need she was singing like a canary. Loves both her teachers, even the one that was not meant to be so nice. Loves being one of the big kids. Loves this, loves that, loves loves loves. When she got home she loved her new shirts...yay for that I say. Her and I ran out to get the rest of the supplies that were not on the list but were added to it that day. She talked about everything and is excited about the year. PHEW.

I'm so glad that they are both happy.

And just for fun here is the video of Lily when she started kindergarten. It's ironic that she mentions being 10 in it because yesterday she started 5th grade and she is 10.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

And one other thing for those of you that don't know me on FB. As we picked up Lily from school yesterday she suddenly stopped dead in her tracks. She said, Mum, mum, look at that.

Who in there right mind wears such a thing to pick up their child from school? Yeah, I am being judgemental, do you blame me?

20 Aug 2012

First day of school 2012 - 2013

That's that then. Summer is over and the girls went back to school today. Lily started fifth grade, which is a big deal for her because she attends a K-8 centre and 5th grade marks the beginning on middle school for her. Rosie started Kindergarten which again is a biggy as it marks the beginning of mandatory education for her.

The morning started off with 2 children having polar opposite feelings about the day. Lily bebopped out of bed and Rosie moaned and whined and finally crawled out of "our" bed. She kept coming downstairs last night with every kind of anxious thought imaginable until I conceded and put her into our bed so she would fall asleep at a decent hour.

I had woken up an hour before them and was ready for whatever they threw at me. HAH, take that kidlets, this morning I was unflappable, not my usual morning self.

Note Rosie's odd socks: her trademark.
Ready to go.
Sheesh Mum, hurry up the sun is blinding.
Lily barely touched her breakfast this morning which shocked me so with a promise of eating a good lunch we left the house and headed to school. Once at school we decided to divide and conquer. I took Rosie and Jacob took Lily. I promised Lily that the second I had Rosie settled I would appear in her room Rosie was getting really really quiet which means she is about to cry. I told her to suck it up and take deep breaths. Once in her classroom she decided to sit next to Sawyer, her friend from last year. Saywer wasn't looking to chipper either, bless him. I sat her down snapped a few photos and told her I was leaving. I talked to Mrs. Valle and told her Rosie doesn't like good byes so I was heading out the door. If she needed me she could call. Before Rosie had a chance to get hysterical we did our special good bye routine and I flew out the door and headed to parts unknown,the Upper Academy.

Rosie being brave
doing great cos I whipped out the trump card, Gypsy!
I found my way to Lily and was shocked to see her alone. None of her friends are in her class. This happened a couple of years ago to her and as much as she is a social butterfly I feel so awful for her for the first little while. (yes, I do that she will be fine but it does'nt mean my stomach isn't in knots until she comes home) I went over to her and talked to her and she was not happy, in fact she was quite snippy. I snapped a photo, chatted to the teacher and made a fast retreat. Sweet soothing words do not work with the logical child. She needs proof that it will be OK and if I stay there delaying the day that isn't going to help anything!

She does however love being in the new building and loves her new classroom. Yay... for the small things. In 5 minutes I am going to pick up Ro'. I'll update later o how it went. Ro I know did fine. Lily.....I'm not so sure. Yes I am, the social butterfly did fine. Homeschooling......if only they wouldn't end up as dumb as bricks.

19 Aug 2012

Bye bye summer. Hello school.

This is it, the very last day of summer vacation. I really don't want summer to be over, I never do. I love having the girls home with me even when they have days when they bicker from morning til night. Those aren't my favourite days but they are real days and I'll take them over days when we are apart.

Tomorrow the alarm will go off at 6.03am and I will wake them up at 7.00 if they aren't already awake and then an hour later they will be gone. for the day. Sigh. It will be a rush to get them going then it will be a rush when they get home to them organised with homework and dinner and out the door to swimming. Once they get home the rushing will continue until they get kissed goodnight. School = madness. and rushing.

This summer we have gone where the wind has blown us. We have been free. I have loved that on the days when I haven't had an early appointment nobody has stirred before 8.30 am. i can't tell you how many times some one has knocked on the door or phoned us and woken us up  and been really surprised that we were all still asleep at 8am. I know, we are rebels.

Of course by the end of the week it will all be normal, the new normal and we will be fine with it, except the rushing, I'm never fine with the rushing. I always feel as if I am rushing their lives away.

Girlies, I hope you have had fun. We went to some new places and we did lots of new things. We found adventures, and poison ivy, we soared like eagles and climbed like bears through the mountains. We swam like fish, and we floated like boats at the beach, we laughed so much at silly things. We spent time with friends and introduced you to family that you had never met before, each day found adventures. Lily your cloud is priceless and you imagination can't be stopped. Rosie you have grown in leaps and bounds this summer when it comes to your sense of adventure maybe it was watching Brave.

I hope this year school year will be everything you hope for and a little bit more.

Thank you for being my daughters,
I love you with all my heart and then some,

18 Aug 2012

Meet and weep

Most schools offer a Meet and Greet the week before school starts so that the kiddos can meet their new teachers and see their new classrooms. Our school doesn't do these, well not for the most part. Last year we had a new Principal and she did but that was the only time. We get to wait until 5 o'clock on the Friday night before school starts and at that time the teacher and room assignments are posted outside the school. This year they a little more modern and posted them on the website, that was a shock.

Lily is heading into 5th. Lily's school is a K-8 and in this particular school she enters middle in 5th. She has no idea where to go on Monday. She has a room assignment and it means nothing to her. Poor child hasn't even been told what gate to go through, yet she remains totally unfazed. She'll figure it out. She isn't the only one who is clueless and in her mind they will all learn together. Cool as a cucumber. The upper academy is a completely different building and she hasn't been in it before but she just doesn't care. Chin up, head held high and off she goes. Unflappable. She doesn't even know if her friends are in her class.

Now lets talk Rosie. Rosie is entering Kindergarten. Since the second she came home Lilys old kinder' teachers have been hoping they would get her. At the end of the last school the kindergarten teachers kept saying she's ours. Rosie really likes them and was excited about it. As excited as Rosie ever gets about going somewhere new. These 2 teachers co-teach a large class but every year there is talk of splitting them up and giving them smaller classes. Last night Rosie did have a Meet and Greet because many of the kids entering Kindergarten have never been to this school before.

We all assembled in the Media Centre and waited for the Principal to announce teacher/room assignments. The "favourite" teachers had been separated and I couldn't decide if this was good or bad. It gave us a better chance of getting them, at least one of them. They called the list for the first one, Rosie was not called and Mrs. V hadn't even looked at us which was most unusual so I was starting to think we weren't going to get her either. By now Rosie has vacated her own seat and is sitting on my lap. Lily suddenly lent over and said, "Mrs Valle just mouthed I have Rosie". I looked up and she was smiling her great big happy smile. Then they called Rosie's name. I told Rosie she had Mrs. Valle and she just said, Oh.

Once all the kids were called they had to leave with the teacher and head to their new classroom. Rosie burst into silent tears and very timidly walked away from us all looking as if she was leaving forever. We just laughed. Not nastily but knowingly. Our neighbours were sitting with us at our table and their little girl is starting this school for the first time, she is all excited. When Rosie started to cry they were so concerned and asked what happened, Nothing we replied, she's just being Rosie.

Once Rosie reached Mrs V she was scooped up into her arms and hugged, End of tears and a big smile. Once we were done with all the rules, the expectations, the questions and the answers we went to pick her up. She was all in the thick of things smiling and having fun. Lily made her way over to her and they carried on together.

Rosie is already worried about next Wednesday when she has to walk into school alone, no more classroom drop offs. (I initially told her that her and Lily would walk into together but now I am not sure since Lily is in the upper academy, so that was a foolish thing to say). I have talked up all the positives and down played all the negatives. I have listened to her fears. We talked about how her tummy feels and I even told her that my tummy gets tied in knots when I have to meet with a new client. (not true at all) and I don't know them.

So she survived Meet and Weep, barely and now we just have to get through next week. After that she will be fine. Her uniform is ready, right down to her socks. Lily has all her new uniform in her closet, she has no idea what she will wear the first day, she'll grab it the night before. Both of them have the backpacks FULL of supplies, ready to go. I have slowly but steadily got Rosie to this point and now there is no backing down. As much as possible when we go out I drive via the school just to make it familiar again.

Send some positive ju ju this way on Monday please, Rosie is going to need it and Lily might need a little too, it's all new to her as well, apart from her friends, she still has them, at least we think she does, she won't know until she walks into her class.

I really can't believe summer is over. I'm going to miss them more than ever. I love these 2 little girls and love having them around.

One sure thing about Monday is this: the need for lots of tissues. Rosie will be a basket case and I  will be sad to see them head back for another year. 

17 Aug 2012

My favourite shirt~ EVER

It's amazing how adoption draws people together. I stumbled across a new blog a few months ago and I really liked it. Don't know what it was about Nancy that made me relate but I just did. She is currently slap dab in the middle of bringing home her son and is fund raising. Adoption isn't easy, there are lots of costs along the way that have to met as you go. 

The fact that a person fund raises as they go through the process doesn't mean that once their child is home that they can't afford their child it just means that the huge out of pocket expenses along the way are a strain to their finances at this time.

Do you see the button, it's called a button but it's actually that large picture with T-shirts on it to the right of the blog? That is Nancy's fund raiser. I bought one of the shirts and I love it. I love it to the point that it has become my favourite shirt. Lily even wants one now.

Its a great shirt and really soft and great quality.

You can follow Nancy on her journey to her son here

and if you want the worlds most wonderful T-shirt just click on the button to the right. There is a great selection, not just the one I chose.
It's a win win situation, Nancy gets a few steps closer to Jon Jon and you get to wear a shirt that you will love and one that brings attention to adoption.

Mama's play date

 Yesterday me and some of my Mama friends had a play date. The kids all probably think it centred around them and that is fine, let them think that, all good parents let their kids think they come first, bwa ha ha ha ha. My friends Lori and Grace and I all met up at the beach. Lori and her familia are staying there for a few days and they invited us all up/down/across town to spend the day with them.

The kids played in the water and on the sand for hours and were dragged back to land only to eat. These kids don't see each other very often and they have quite a difference in their ages but that didn't seem to matter at all yesterday. I think the fact that all of our kiddies can swim and swim so well keeps them on an even playing field. Aged 5 or 10, it just doesn't matter as they can all hold their own in the water and can play together.

I made a decision to be loser camera mother as this was our play date and not theirs. I left all cameras behind. I also knew that the others would have their or at the very least their phones and would be snapping photos and I would be able to snag them.

I had such a lovely time, it was so relaxing and calming. Ladies, thank you. I left there feeling refreshed. And Marc, what a guy you are, all that girlie chatter and not a word, just that great sense of humour.

All photos below are not mine, I do not have the rights to them, they are all stolen cos I am a slacker!

The Hot Mama's.  Gawd did I really write that.
Lily and Ethan found a crab in the ocean and caught it in a bucket.
Lily, Ethan, Katie Starr, Rosie, Natalie and Liam.......the fun makers
They had such a great time on OUR play date.
Friendships and play dates brought to you by the miracle of adoption and blogging. Lori pointed out yesterday that we have been friends now for 10 years. Her and I met at a Half the Sky walk a Thon 10 years ago. Zoinks.

16 Aug 2012

Back in the swim of things

After taking most of the summer off from swimming Lily got thrown back in at the deep end. so to speak, last night. She swam a couple of nights this week and she swam 2 nights before we went away but that has been it for 6 blissful weeks. When it comes to swimming one day out of the pool is equal to 2 days of not swimming, this means her skill level has dropped off significantly.

Tonight she swam in a Lap-a-Thon to raise money for her team.

Her coach does this every year. It enables him to keep the costs down and allows him to keep the coaches on staff throughout the slower winter months when his numbers drop off. Some parents get very upset about it and others understand his reasoning. I can honestly say that I can't imagine any other activity where you pay $115 for 25 hours of instruction a month. If you think that is expensive then all I can say is, you have never had a kid take horse riding lessons or heaven forbid ride competitively.

We arrived poolside at 5.45 and all the kids were ready to swim. The coaches divided everyone up into lanes and the parents who had volunteered were given lap counters. I was one. Due to the obvious conflict of interests we couldn't count our own kidlets. Lily was a little nervous as she had to swim for an hour non-stop. The coach told them to stop and get a drink just like they always do but if they needed to stop then they were finished. He told them they would be fine that they were competitive swimmers and it would be easy for them but they had to pace themselves.and without further fuss he blew his whistle and they started.

Only the under 12's swam tonight and not too many participated
Just keep swimming
looks to me like she is body surfing here but I'm sure she wasn't
Afterwards they had a pizza party.
Kidlet swam 112 laps with each laps being 25 metres. Thats a whole lotta swimming especially for someone who is out of shape...in the swimming world. The kids that she usually swims with who didn't take 6 weeks off swam 118 laps. These kids are fit. Lily is frustrated that she couldn't pull off what she normally can. Sheesh, next year I bet she won't want to go on vacation, darned competitive child of mine.

15 Aug 2012

Monkey Business

Back in June when I attempted to bake a birthday cake with the girls I realised that my scales were terribly, horribly, broken. I thought it was because they had been manhandled and dropped by prior mentioned girls a few too many times. It turns out that that might not be the only reason.

For the record, he weighs 1 ounce. (at least on these scales he does!)
Who knew that kitchen scales can double as nursery scales for newly adopted sock monkeys?

14 Aug 2012

We don't have that here

Those nasty spots that rendered Lily nearly a cripple as we walked through the airport in Atlanta the other day look like this:

She also has a couple on her thighs some on the back of her legs, some on her side and 3 on the top of her back just below her neck and they are so itchy. I have completely ruled out bed bugs since she is the only one with them and I slept in her bed with her one night just to be sure. Rosie has one really freaky looking long skinny fluid filled blister on her leg but she often get manky things and I didn't give a second thought I just kept putting Germolene on it. In desperation this morning I put a photo of Lilys feet on Facebook and within seconds the diagnosis was in: Poison Ivy. Well DUH, we don't have that here so how on earth was I too know? Bed bugs made more sense to me. I googled it and yes indeed, they both have Poison Ivy so within minutes I jumped into the car and went straight to the pharmacy. Hopefully now the itching will stop and they will feel better. Lily can't wear anything but flip flops. We have decided that the day she caught her cloud is the day she walked through it and getting back into the car she rubbed against Rosie. It's a shame she doesn't share everything so readily with her sister.

13 Aug 2012

Going back that way.

Yesterday we found ourselves in Atlanta as we made our way back home. We were meant to spend a portion of time in Georgia but it didn't happen that way so we will have to do it later. We set the GPS to head for the Atlanta airport and once there I entered places to see and choose the historic district. HAH, demographically that wasn't a good choice...that's all I'll say. We made a quick detour and I chose something else, FAST. We decided to head to the CNN building as we could actually see that. Much better.

It was such a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the sky was cloudless and there was a slight nip in the air if you walked in the shade, which of course, the girls and l did.
Lily thought the CNN sign was awesome!
I love flags

After we left CNN we walked across the street to the Olympic Park. Ironic that on the day off the closing ceremony of the of the Olympics in London we were walking in the park that commemorated the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.

the site commemorating the 96 Olympic games
The girls and I
this park is beautiful and smack dab in the middle of Downtown Atlanta
Then we headed off to the airport for a very uneventful flight back to Miami. Uneventful if you ignore the fact that Lily suddenly became itchy all over her feet and lower legs. She was covered in bites of some sort. Really awful bites and there were tonnes of them. I, due to my OCD and germ phobe brain, immediately became convinced that they were from bed bugs. She could barely walk they were so bad. Being Lily she sucked it up pretty good and being me I had benedryll cream in my purse but it barely helped at all.

It's good to be home.

12 Aug 2012

A little less adventure

These photos are of some places that we fell upon that I just loved for a myriad of different reasons.
I loved being up high with nobody else around.
I told the girls I had bought this place and it was our new house.  Rosie looked very scared, Lily knew better
This church was in the middle of nowhere. 
Just because
A Christmas tree farm. How fun is that, I never see  one before, ever
The sky appears to be imitating the ground.
This one, I just like.
I'm heading to the airport in a few hours....wish me luck, please.

11 Aug 2012

I wanna be a millionaire so freaking bad

When jacob announced that we were going gem mining the words to that song kept going through my head. I really didn't know exactly what it was we would be doing but I had an idea it involved mud and water and by jove I was correct. The girls were really excited, no Lily was really excited and Rosie was just tagging along unsure what she was meant to do.

Once everyone was set up with their stuff Rosie really got into it. I didn't do very much as I was busy helping Rosie and making sure she didn't fall off of the bench. Rosie thought the prettiest thing she found was a sea shell. Go figure. She tried to throw away a large ruby until the chap in charge suggested she keep it. It's so nice up here the people are honest and kind.......lucky for Rosie and her ruby.

It was so much fun. I won't be a millionaire anytime soon, at least not from gem mining but it was something different to do and we had a great time doing it. Lily ended up with the biggest haul and the biggest stone out of all of us, no surprise there.

bb, I couldn't help but think of you and the time you walked part of the Pennine Way and came home with a rucksack full of amethyst.

Lily all excited and raring to go meanwhile Rosie is wondering why on earth she has been given a sieve of mud to play with.
Daddy showing Rosie that she has got some good stuff
Taking their work very seriously
Our work area with a spectacular view........beyond the car park
I just love the old fashioned panning plate
Lily with her stash. To the left of her hand is one big ruby and above that is her pile of emeralds
Rosie with her cache of goods. Her ruby is also in the lower left hand corner.
One little interesting fact we learnt yesterday: North Carolina is the only state that has Emeralds. They are very light, not at all like the dark green Brazilian emeralds we are used to seeing. They actually look more like jade and are exported to China and are sold "as" jade over there. Hmmm, I wonder how many of us bought NC emeralds thinking it was jade??? Darn! The people here are so friendly y'all.


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