26 Feb 2013

Sparkly goodness

Many millions of years ago when my grandma died one of the things that she left for me was a pair of earrings. I loved them, really loved them but unlike the other jewellry that she gave to me I never wore them. They were just too fancy schmancy and not something that someone with my life style would wear so I sat them in a safe and gazed at them occasionally.

I often thought about turning them into a ring but then decided that that would be just as daft since in my line of work I don't wear rings. Next? I was clueless so for countless years ( hah who am I kidding I know exactly how many years it been but it just seems like a big number so I'm not spilling those beans) they sat in the safe.

A few months ago I took a trip downtown with the girls and visited my favourite jeweller and friend and turned them over to her and said, please do something. She took Lily aside, asked her a couple of questions, asked me a couple and told me to leave them with her. Her husband was furious at me for changing them. He said they were all the rage, Edwardian is in, he said, you can't change these, they are stunning, he said. She told him to mind his own business and with that the girls, her and I went out for lunch.

I just got them back a couple of weeks ago and I am so happy that I chose to have them re-set because now I have something wearable. Something that I can wear everyday and better still I have 2. My friend took into account that I have 2 girls and wanted to make something so that one day they will both have a piece of their great grandmas jewellry.

Necklace one
Necklace 2
From one came three.

Of course it would have helped if I had taken a before photo but I forgot. I think I might have one somehwere, I will have to look.

25 Feb 2013

I love you Lily C

Last night as I put Lily to bed we were having a nondescript conversation when it suddenly changed to being adopted. Out of nowhere Lily said, If you adopt a baby you must really really want them. If you just get pregnant it's easy but to adopt takes so much work. I did say it isn't always easy to get pregnant but in her head it is easier than adoption. She then went on and on about the paperwork and the agency and everything else that adoption entails.

She then said that I must have really wanted her and love her so so much.

I do.

She then said I must love her more than if I had "just" got pregnant because I worked so hard to get her.

I don't know the answer to that and told her so but I told her I think I couldn't love her anymore if I tried.

She then thanked me for adopting her.

Really, she did.

Just when I think I couldn't love her anymore, not even if my life depended on it she says something like that and she eeks out just a little bit more.

Crazy little tween

23 Feb 2013

Parents Please Read

Yesterday I accompanied Lily's class on a field trip to the Everglades National Park. We headed by bus way down south to the huge National Park. The kids were super excited and it was looking like a great day out. There were 40 kids with a total of 10 adults.

The big ole school bus lumbered to a stop at the visitor station and 2 Rangers greeted us. We were separated into 2 groups and once the rangers had finished explaining what we should expect the kids were all sent to the restrooms before we headed to the Anhinga Trail. Once there we started our hike and the kids were captivated. A few short minutes later another teacher from a different school came rushing up to the ranger and asked if she could speak to him. Ranger Fred, as I will call him, excused himself and went and talked to her. He came back to the group, explained that he had an emergency and asked if the teachers and chaperones could hold down the fort. That wasn't a problem as many of the chaperones are also teachers at the school. We continued to point out various things and kept them busy for a few minutes. Ranger Fred would conduct business on his walkie talkie, talk with the lady and then come back to our group. The whole time he maintained his professionalism.

This went on for about 20 minutes. We would walk on a few feet. The other lady had 3 boys with her that she kept very close to her and whom she sat in a shelter out of the way but never left their side. It became apparent that this was a very serious situation but not one that we could "see". A lady ranger appeared and joined in the conversation. At this point the woman in charge of the boys came to our group and explained very quietly to one of the teachers that one of her boys had just been sexually assaulted in the bathroom.

In that instant I think my life changed forever.

The boys looked to be about 10.

We had just left those very bathrooms with our kids. This group was ahead of us by about 3 minutes. We had boys with us. We had 10 adults. All of us were female. I went with the kids into the loo. I was holding the door and they went in and out. Lily stayed with me so her and I were the last to leave with another mum and her daughter but the boys had NO ONE. They were alone. There were tonnes of people everywhere. Tonnes. People coming and going. It didn't stop this scumbag.

Please if you are a Father sign up as a volunteer for your kids classroom. Go on field trips. Even if you have daughters go for the boys. Go and get the police clearance. Take the day off of work.

Cellphones do not work in the Everglades. All communication had to be done with walkie talkies. Suddenly the Federal Agents appeared. It was the most bone chilling experience of my life. I saw them running, searching for this creep, fingers on the trigger as they ran the Anhinga trail. We kept our kids in the dark, it wasn't our place to tell them. The agents spoke to Ranger Fred. He would step aside and motion them towards wherever or whatever they needed. No kid had a clue. WE kept our group tight, really tight.

Once we got back to school and I got Lily in my car I asked if she realised there was an emergency and she  yes because Ranger Fred thanked them for behaving whilst he dealt with it. I then told her what had happened. She needs to know it can and does happen anywhere. She needs to know that I am not nuts for not letting her go to the toilet alone EVER. This is the second time this week that I have heard a story like this I can't help but think the universe is trying to warn me to make me be more vigilant.

Warning heeded.

Please please pay attention. Don't let this warning go unnoticed but moreover PLEASE if you are a dad, an uncle, a big borther, sign up to volunteer for your kids. This all could have been avoided.

If you do go on a field trip and there isn't anyone to go into the boys toilet with them as a woman you can stand at the door and say, coming in and go in and check before allowing the boys to enter.

This is so sickening and we have to protect our children.

I don't know if they found him or not. We kept on with our day but I do know that I can't stop thinking of the innocent child whose life he ruined.

Please help to spread the word. Schools are not very good at circulating this type of news but this is something that we as parents can control. I have sent Lily on field trips where I haven't been able to go because chaperones names were pulled out of hats but fortunately I have always known, very well at least one of the other mothers. What do I do now? Not let her go if I don't go? Crap...we live in sich a sick messed up world.

20 Feb 2013

Growing like a weed

Just over five years ago a little tiny girl called Nan Qi Min lived in an orphanage in China and spent her days dreaming of a forever family whilst at the same time on the other side of the world her big sister Lily dreamt of having a baby sister. When the universe aligned the two were bought together, forever.

Nan Qi Min and her nanny

Five years ago today in a very cold room in the Civil Affairs Office of Guandong Province PRC I held a very very tiny 12 month old baby girl with a heart condition for the first time. My life would never be the same again, nor thank goodness would hers. She was scared, unhappy but oh so loved. Loved from deep inside my heart. That love has continued to grow and will continue to grow, daily.

Nan Qi Min.
Lily is looking at her with a face that says, Whoa, just my luck this kid can scream.

One year later she was no longer a little girl with a heart condition, she was cured and she was just Rosie. She was still very shy and timid but her confidence was growing and she was a cheeky little imp.Rosie continued to grow and get braver. She still wasn't ready to take on the world but she knew if she had her family her life would be ok. She never ever wanted to be more than a few centimetres away from her family though.
Rosie Qi Min Cope.....getting stronger by the day.
Family day 2009
and as each anniversary of Rosies forever day passed she grew and grew. some might even say she grew sillier and sillier. We say that is how we know she was meant to be part of this family
Family day 2010

Family day 2011. Another crazy Rosie face.
Still carrying her security blanket wherever she goes.

Last year she had finally laid her demons to rest and so we dragged out her Gotcha day outfit and squished her back into it for a commemorative photo op. It was a tad on the tight side. Just a smidge. 

Family day 2012


Now 5 whole years have passed since that frail, sweaty little body was placed in my arms, screaming. Her confidence has reached new heights and I thank her kindergarten teacher and her swim coaches for it. She realises that people other than me are kind and it is OK to be more that 3 cm away from me as no one is going to hurt her and that she will be returned to me. She still worries about what ever she can think of, she still frets about life in general but my little girl is growing up and isn't afraid of her own shadow anymore.

 Rosie, you are an original, a one of a kind, I love you to the great big sky and far beyond it. You make me laugh with all your little quirks and your wicked sense of humour. I just don't think I could be happier that I am today until I get to tomorrow and then I wonder how I can be happier than I am right now and you show me that I can be.You are as loyal as any junk yard dog and a fierce protector of your family. Thank you for making my heart whole.


It was so cold here on Sunday. No, really it was. The temperature dropped nearly 40 degrees overnight and a few miles inland from us had frost. Considering it was nearly 80 on Saturday at the swim meet, that is crazy.

Do I need to tell you how much we loved it? No I didn't think so. Do I need to tell you that we spent nearly every waking second outside? Again, no.We went to the park, the only park around here with a hill and flew kites. We forgot to take our gloves so our hands were freezing, really really freezing. The sun was shining so brightly but it offered no heat.

Lily, all bundled up with her hand in her pocket, trying to keep it warm
My little fashionista
I love her face here. She is so excited that she got her kite flying by herself. It was so windy I'm surprised she wasn't airborne
Bundled against the cold

After lunch the girls decided they wanted to go out again and we headed to a different park, this time they rode their scooters to it.
Such happy faces
Monkey. Swimming has really given this child the conditioning and strengthening that she needed
Basking in the sun....upside down
When did she get so grown up?
We couldn't stop laughing she couldn't get her coat on and was going round and round in circles like a dog chasing her tail.

This is the face of a child on a mission. Lily and I had walked on instead of waiting and she was coming at us, full steam.
When we saw this expression we couldn't stop laughing. Rosie doesn't like to ever feel left behind, not for 3 seconds.

The weather is back to the usual balmy SoFl stuff. We loved the winter (day) that we had and wished it was longer. I don't think we will get anymore chilly days now but there is always next year.

18 Feb 2013


I am not a lover of junk food. Chocolate does not fall into that category as chocolate is a food group, it is the Brown Group and is one of the largest food groups. It's the other junk food that I am not particularly fond of. I don't get really nutty about it, just certain aspects of it. I don't like fast food restaurants at all but that's just me.

As luck would have it neither of my girls can eat Mickey D's it makes them physically sick, at least in this country it does. Lily can projectile vomit like the best of them if she eats it. So we avoid these kinds of places like the plague. Another place I avoid and I don't really know why is Dunkin' Donuts. It just looks nasty to me, that and Taco Bell. I call it Taco Hell and I have never ever been to one.

I have been reading my friend Trish's blog and when Hailey goes to get chemo they sometimes stop and get Krispy Kreme doughnuts, warm crispy Kreme Doughnuts. Now I have no idea why these appealed to me but they did. I have seen box upon box of these donuts in Publix and walked right by them but the idea of them being served warm straight from the fryer, I like to think of it as an oven cos I detest fried anything, made me yearn for one.

I went online to see if such a place even existed down here and it did so yesterday morning I bundled the girls up from the elements, it was 47 dgerees here and off we trekked to Krispy Kreme. I wouldn't tell them where we were going but asked them to look for a big red K. Lily announced in a sad sap sort of voice, Oh good grief are we going to K-mart. I have never ever shopped at Kmart so why she thought that, I have no idea and it made me laugh. They were so excited when we pulled into the car park. They were also floored that I had taken them to a doughnut shop.

WE can't believe our luck, Mummy has gone off of her rocker.

who drinks water with a doughnut? yuck.
Why yes, I did eat 2, who's counting? 
Cheers, Mummy
The verdict: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts served hot are the best doughnuts ever. They are light, fluffy and of course really fresh. They put that other so called donut shop to shame. We are converts. It might be another 10 years before I eat another one but they are delicious. A friend of mine asked if we bought a dozen? A dozen, what on earth am I going to do with 12 doughnuts....sell them?

17 Feb 2013

Swim x 2

Both girls were entered in the same swim meet yesterday which made things fabulously easy and bionically complicated all at the same time.

Fabulously easy. 2 girls in the same place at the same time.
Fabulously easy. Swim meet was at Gulliver. 10 minutes from here.
Fabulously easy. Both got to compete on the same weekend.

Bionically Complicated. 10 towels. Which inevitably = 10 wet towels .
Bionically Complicated. The amount of stuff in addition to the 10 towels.
Bionically Complicated. Keeping track of 2 sets of heats.
Bionically Complicated. Keeping track of 2 sets of times.

It was only Rosies second meet she was was fully charged with nervous energy.

And this was my second meet as coaches assistant and first meet as swim mum of 2 kids at the same time. I was charged also and lest we should forget Nanny Freaking McPhee was there and I needed to rise above as that is how I roll. Never let them see you sweat.

First order of official business get Rosie deck entered into the 100 free. Off I trot only to be informed that there are no free lanes left. Back to the boss to relay this information. Boss tells me that is fine that we can enter her as another swimmer as she is fully paid and is not swimming and Rosie is fully entered. I think nothing of this and take care of business. After the transaction is complete I realised that my child is swimming with the 10 and 12 years olds. Say what? To late now.

The kids go off and warm up and I help get everyone organised, heat sheets lined up and parents that are new to this game sorted out. The kids seemed to warm up for ever yesterday but I think it might have had something to do with the amount of people entered in the meet.

Finally it was time to go and Lily was up first. She swam two heats before Rosie swam. Rosie looked a little like the deer in the headlights but pulled it off swimmingly when it was her turn. Lily then competed again before Rosie had to swim with the big leagues. Unfortunately the name change confused everyone and Rosie got a late start, not that this changed much as far as her placing. She came in last in the heat BUT, drum roll please, overall she still managed to beat 3 other kids. Kidlet can swim! Lily then swam her last heat.

Lily shaved time off of all her heats minus the last one. Substantial time. She is now really really close to making Junior Olympic times and I hope she gets them if that is what she wants. She makes me laugh because each and every day in practice she swims hard but enjoys herself and gives herself no pressure but at a meet she reaches down into her toes and pulls so hard. Then back at the practice pool she just toddles along leaving her coach yelling at her and shaking his head. I think he is starting to realise that Lily doesn't "do it" unless it is needed. I know she won some more bling yesterday in two heats but the final scores weren't all tallied when we left.

Nervous Nelly
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Gulliver's pool had a proper score board that showed the kids name and which lane they were in. The girls LOVED it.
Lily loved seeing her name on the board
Lily with her heats and lanes tattooed on her arm. Standard procedure.
Still looking nervous. The board was the place where she was so worried about getting DQ'ed. One little wiggle and you are OUT. Sheesh, talk about pressure.
10th place out of 66. in breast and she shaved just over 5 seconds off of her time.
Rosies 100 free with the big kids. As you can see there isn't anyone around. 
If you look at the photos Lily is always on the lane lines, she circle swims, it is driving her MAD. Rosie isn't doing it. They circle swim in practise and it is a hard habit to break and it costs them time wise. I think and hope that now Lil is getting so aware of it she will be more conscious and might be able to change it. Even after she flip turns she heads straight to the lane line.

We have a break for a couple of weeks before any more meets but in March there is a huge one coming. Lots of pressure for this one. Lily doesn't feel pressure until she gets behind the board, then for her it is, game on and her composure changes entirely. Her goofball attitude gets placed aside and her game face gets put on and that's it.

16 Feb 2013

A situation

I am pissed off, hurt and generally really quite fed up.

Very soon after the girls started swimming we, Rosie and I, encountered a mother, whom I shall call Nanny McPhee, in the stands. Rosie was walking down one set of stairs along the deck and up the other set of stairs. She wasn't running, she wasn't making any noise she was just walking. Now bare in mind that I am Hitler so had she been at all disruptive I would have put a stop to it. I take games, books and things for them to do whilst they wait for each other. Out of nowhere Nanny Mcphee gets all over Rosie and Rosie comes back to me very scared and quiet. I told her it served her right and she needed to sit down, end of story. This was 18 freaking months ago.

Nanny Mcphee has NEVER spoken to me. I have smiled, said hello etc etc and NOTHING. Yesterday she came up to speak to the lady sitting behind me, a friend of mine and says, hello to her, to the lady next to me and ignores me again, so I said, helloooo, in a very happy voice and she shot me the death look. I asked her why she refuses to speak to me. She replied in very broken English, I will NEVER speak to you EVER. I was shocked, totally flabbergasted, knock me on my arse with a feather, kind of shocked. The 3 of us all looked at each other.

After she left I asked what the hell it was all about and what on earth she thinks I have done. I am a nice person and always give people a chance. Apparently she thinks my kid is unruly and nearly hit her with a Croc one time. Aha, so that's it is it. Wrong kid!

Today the girls both had a swim meet and she was there. I went up to her and very gently touched her arm and asked if I could talk to her, She swung around, whipped my hand off of her and said, No habla Ingles. I was so effing pissed. I replied, habla Espanol. It knocked her off guard and she marched away.  I really don't know what is with her but I tried to take the high road but now it is game on.

A little later on I went to tell Lily something and she was sitting talking to a friend. They were playing video games. Lily was sitting on a cooler. Once Nanny Mcphee realised Lily was with me she told her to get off the cooler as she was too heavy. Suddenly she speaks the language, how convenient. Okay.  Lily's friend asked her to sit in the chair with her so then Nanny told the Mother in Spanish to tell her to get out as she was to heavy and she would break it so the mother did. I gave the b*&ch the death stare and dragged Lily away. Then Nanny, so named cos she looks like Nanny McPhee at her ugliest started bad mouthing me and my kids to other mothers in Spanish. I then reminded her that I spoke Spanish which left the other mother looking a little embarrassed, and walked off. (I can say hello, where is the bathroom and would you like another olive, I never said I was fluent.)

I really don't know what is with her. I have been told by so many people that she is just crazy. Well guess what I think she is just a trouble maker and everyone lets her get away with it. I dont think she should be allowed to intimidate people and be downright nasty. If you let people like her walk all over you she will.

You can mess with me but don't bring the girls into it.

Bring it Nanny, I'm ready, game on!

More on the swim meet later.

Darn it, I thought swimming was void of the whackkos.

13 Feb 2013

I normally reserve this sort of humour for Facebook but this is funniest thing I have seen in ages and I want to share it here to.

I just could not stop laughing.

12 Feb 2013

Glass half full

It's shortly after 10pm on an evening that has followed a rather taxing day. I would like the day to be over but I still have a a few things to do and that's OK. I just walked over to the kitchen sink and noticed a puddle of water in front of the dishwasher. I cleaned it up and chose to think that it wasn't coming from under the dishwasher as that would be annoying and not part of my master plan. I went away and came back.

So did the puddle.

I now have a dishwasher in the middle , well not quite the middle, of the kitchen floor as it is still plugged in. I stared at it for a few minutes before attacking it with my screwdriver and wondering what to do next. I remember the contractor saying something or other when we re-did the kitchen about, this hose here, and this one going there, but that's about all. 

The good news is that the puddle was leaking under the dishwasher and and not out from under. One of the girls must have spilt some water before they went to bed. They spilt it so close that some went under it. When I cleaned it up more must have seeped out.

Now I have to work out how the dickens to get the dishwasher back in and the front plates back on. But that's fine with me cos it's not leaking and that is all I care about. 

Yay for crappy days ending on a high note......and not needing flood pants.

10 Feb 2013

Year of the Snake

For those of you that partake, we wish you a

Happy Chinese New Year, the year of the Snake.

I showed the girls CNY images this morning and Lily chose this one to represent the year
Rosie chose this image
There isn't much happening around these parts to celebrate so we did our own thing. Next weekend our local FCC group is having a lovely bash but we will be at a swim meet.

The girls like to take something into to school to share with their friends and so we dipped some fortune cookies in melted chocolate and added some sprinkles. A very American twist to Chinese New year but they love making them and their classmates and teachers love them.

We have hung our lanterns and the girls received their red envelopes first thing this morning. I forgot to throw them outside the door and bring them back in again really quickly. Chinese tradition states that the first person to cross your threshold in the new year represents the kind of people that will be visiting you all year. I always try to make it one of the girls. Happy go lucky, fun loving, carefree, free spirited people are always welcome here. I also made sure the house was clean as tradition also states you must mop, sweep and clean away any bad luck from the previous year, so mop clean and sweep I did, somewhat frenetically.

There were sprinkles all over the place
Rosie made these. It took her ages. 
Gung Hay Fat Choy.

8 Feb 2013

Helping Lily

After Mondays fallout things have moved at warped speed with regard to getting Lily once again interested in school. I have to say that I have been blown away by the administration at the school.

I had initially emailed her teacher which is something I do frequently and she always emails me back promptly but on Monday she rang me back and we talked. The counsellor has rung twice, the Principal once and the gifted teacher once. I have also seen her homeroom teacher in person as she made a point of walking out of school yesterday to check how things were going. All of this would just be fluff if things were not being done but they are.

Her counsellor felt that the virtual classroom would be a good option for Lily. This meant that in addition to what Lily learns in school she can also do extra work at home in a virtual setting. The principal vetoed this idea as she feels extra work is not what is needed but more challenging work is the answer. I agree. If we just bog the kid down she is going to hate school even more, if that is possible. The solution, she needs to skip a grade or 2 or 3. After much discussion the decision has been made that she will skip certain grade levels but remain with her peers. She will stay in her grade level but will do entirely different work. I really want her to stay with her peers for now as at this age maturity is a huge issue and I just don't want her mixing with kids that are 13 and 14. No thank you ma'am. She knows so much already I just don't need her putting it into practise. Not that she would necessarily but there would be greater temptation.

Things changed on Tuesday and Lily immediately felt better. Her gifted teacher included her in class. She wasn't doing so as she knows that Lily knows all the answers and was ignoring her as she needs to let others have a chance. It wasn't a malicious act just the way it has to be. She even moved her seat so that she can actually see her better and is therefore more likely to include her. I understand where she is coming from but as Lily pointed out sometimes I put my hand up to ask about something I don't understand and she still ignores me.

Having a child that needs remedial help is so much easier as there is so much help out there but having a really smart kid that is bored offers an entirely different set of problems and there just isn't that much help. Thankfully this principal believes in grade skipping. If she stays in this school, which she doesn't want to do, she can whack out a lot of high school classes before she even gets to high school and then once in high school she can start immediately with AP courses for college.  The same will be true at her magnet school also. I just have a spot for WP.

She needs to go where the challenge will be greater.

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers out there, our children's futures really do depend on you.

7 Feb 2013

Emergency call into the tooth fairy

Tonight the tooth fairy will be visiting.
She will be visiting 2 seperate bedrooms in this house.
She will be leaving donations under 2 different pillows.
She will be making 2 little girls very happy.
2 little girls who think it is so funny that they both lost teeth on the same day.

The girls went to the dentist last week for their check up and the dentist couldn't help but notice Rosies 2 front bottom teeth wobbling about all over the place and her 2 new teeth standing to attention behind them. He also noticed her new 6 yr molar that erupted. He wouldn't be much a dentist if he missed any of it, lets be honest here.

He then moved on to Lily. He couldn't help but notice that Lily is 10.5 yrs old and still has most of her baby teeth. In fact she is about 12 months behind most kids her age in the tooth loss department.  He also couldn't help but notice the area on one of Lilys teeth where she was getting her floss stuck. Uh-oh. Turns out Lilys teeth are firmly rooted in her mouth and are just not coming out so they are starting to dissolve. Not just the root which is supposed to dissolve but the whole darned tooth.

Whats a good dentist meant to do with all these teeth? Extract them of course.

We went back today to have them  ripped out of their heads  removed.

Lily went first and on a closer inspection it was decided that the tooth is almost loose and is not hurting her or causing a problem so she can keep it and let it fall out on it's own. But, but, in an ironic twist Lily marched out of school today and said, Mummy, notice anything different about me? I knew immediately she had lost another tooth.

Rosie was a different case and hers had to come out. Kidlet has more teeth than a shark. I was so impressed as she sat so very very still and didn't make a sound as they worked for all of 5 minutes and pulled her 2 bottom teeth out. She was so brave. When it was all over with I looked at her and realised she was as white as a ghost so I swooped in and picked her up. With her safely in my arms the colour returned to her face and she no longer looked as if she would faint or pewk.

The dentist handed her her teeth in a special little bag and off we went. Once the 10 minutes was up and she was able to remove the gauze she smiled like a cheshire cat and hasn't stopped. She just keeps staring at herself in the mirror. So cute.

And then tonight at bedtime she could barely contain herself when she followed in her big sisters footsteps and put her teeth under her pillow, oh yes she did. She put a little note with them too asking the tooth fairy to please not take them.

I don't know why but it has just warmed my heart all the way to it's core tonight watching both of them smile with big gaps and watching both of them tuck their tiny little teeth under their pillows. Sigh.

I think I need to take out a loan.
Rosie and her gap
Lily and her gap. (yes she does have yellow teeth but unfortunately these she inherited but we can change them later)
Look at those teeny tiny teeth
another teeny tiny tooth
I think the tooth fairy will oblige.

4 Feb 2013

If you don't react, they will

I am not sure if I have mentioned here before how much Lily dislikes school but she really does. Yes, she is in the gifted program and yes she is a straight A student but she absolutely hates school. This dilemma has been ongoing for a couple of years. She finds it boring and unnecessary, redundant and a waste of time. She finds some of her teachers dull and others mean. She has friends but not one special friend, she is more the friend of all kids. She is a popular kid but not one to kiss butt so she will never be , "a popular kid" if you know what I mean. Everyone, and I mean, everyone, knows who she is because of her personality.

Recently she has been letting me know more frequently how much she dislikes school and we have been counting down the months until she heads to her new school. This morning when I told her it won't be much longer she looked at me and said, I don't want to go there it won't be any different, it is still Florida they still teach for the FCAT, there still won't be a break, I still won't be allowed to be me, it will be the same. And with that the tears started.

Once she was in school I emailed her teacher and 2 seconds after I hit send the school called to say Lily had a stomach ache and needed to be picked up. I knew instantly this was utter B.S. and I was pissed. I jumped in the car and headed to school. Sumi met me at the clinic and was all sympathy and I looked at her and said, she doesn't have a stomach ache. Sumi left us alone to talk and Lily looked extremely sheepish.

WTH? She is 10 and she is playing hooky? Oh no I don't think so. I told her that I strongly suggested that she get herself back to class immediately and that we would talk about it all later. She then said, Dad said I could go home! Again, WTH?

I bought her home. We sat together on the couch and talked, really talked for over an hour. I gave her paper and a pen and she wrote words that came into her head to describe her feelings about school. Then we brainstormed possible solutions and then to her utter horror I rang her teacher and the guidance counsellor. Both were in shock. Both said the same ting....but Lily is a straight A student and she is soooooo smart.

Uh, no shit sherlock, I know that.   It's not the work, it's the system. They were both very sad and immediately jumped into action. She loves her homeroom teacher. 3 conversations later and things are happening. Questions as to why I didn't do something sooner? Umm, well I didn't want to make Lily even more uncomfortable in school, retaliation is ugly.

The bottom line is this, certain things will never change. She has to go to school. She probably won't be challeneged enough because she is smart and she is already in gifted. Apparently it often happens that the smart kids get overlooked in classes because the teachers have to ask the other kids questions and can't just ask the smart ones but then they sort of forget about the smart ones. However there is now a plan of action in place and I am going to be spending a lot of time in the school in the next few weeks.

And as for playing hooky? Well lets just say I told her that if she ever, EVER, tries it again, I will be accompanying her to class and sitting next to her in the very next desk....for the whole freaking school year. The teacher and counsellor said not to punish her for it this time...I'm not so sure.

Lily feels so much better having got all of this off of her chest. She also now realises that she isn't the ony that feels this way amongst her peers but nothing can get resolved if she won't let me in. I went over her head today, not the first time of course, and she sees that I do know what is best. She knows Rome wasn't built in a day and things take time. Everyone is so shocked to hear that LILY feels like this. Maybe we opened some eyes on more than one level.

Just as in every profession there are good teachers and mediocre teachers and for the most part her school is filled with fantastic teachers but I think our county sends some the old elective teachers there before they reach retirement similar to how farmers send horses out to pasture.

3 Feb 2013

Looks who's six

My baby is six. I can't actually bring myself to say it out loud, I am just whispering the word in a way reminiscent of how old ladies used to say the word, sex. It just seems so very very big to me. She is still so tiny so I think it might be a mistake, an accounting mistake, yes that must be it.

Just in case it isn't a mistake I did my annual pre-birthday interview with her last night. Even she seems a little surprised that she is not going to be five anymore, weird little wonder that she is.

 I like to allow the girls to have their birthdays their way. If they want cake for breakfast then they get cake for breakfast. The rest of the year I am a bit of a drill Sergeant and since I DO NOT throw enormous birthday parties that cost as much as a wedding for them I allow frivolous behaviour. She even chose everyone clothes, that was scary. Thank heavens I don't have any orange shirts!Rosie being Rosie had her usual breakfast albeit surrounded by balloons and Happy Birthday banners and wanted to go to Miami Children's Museum for the day.  So we did, right after she opened her prizes.

One of my favourite photos ever of Rosie. I just caught her as she came down the slide as you enter the museum and she was so happy.
Lily caught a fish
Rosei captained a boat
Even the seahorses wore orange in honour of her birthday
A quick visit to the dentist
Thems so large choppers.
Got milk?
Grocery shopping at Publix
EMS workers
Rowing her boat
Climbing the rock wall, the tiny one
That's a big hat, Lilipop
Lily took on the monster wall, and won
Lily thought it was hilarious that the bear was so big
Getting her groove on in the recording studio. She had me is stitches.
A birthday tiara compliments of the art deptartment
Let them eat cake.
Cutting destroying her cake
Lego was her wish. Look at all the pretty colours it comes in now. Oh and when did Lego come in a Winnebago and trailer set complete with a BBQ and bicycle. It's very cool.

Happy birthday sweet girl. I love you to the moon and back. You are such a funny little one and make us laugh all the time. You have this strong need to please and are always checking to make sure I am OK. You are my girl and if I am there you are fine. You will take Lily as a close second but other than that you are not interested. Recently you have come into your own, thank goodness and have even been known to put people in there places. Swimming is the best thing that has happened to you and lucky for us you love it. Your confidence is starting to soar and I know that you are going places. You have a very compassionate side and get upset with anything that you construe as an injustice. School is another favourite place of yours and thankfully it is making sense. It was hard for at first to make any sense out of readiing but recently that has changed. You think math is the easiest subject ever and breeze your way through, just like your sister. Talking of Lily you truly do think the sun rises and sets on her.
I know this year will fly right by, they all do and I my wish for you is that it brings you all your hopes and dreams.
Love Mama.


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