Friday, August 31, 2007

Who's stalking our Aunt Suzie??

Someone has called my family looking for "Aunt Suzie."
Don't you stalk my Suzie.
I don't want her to have to kick anyone's ass.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The usual suspects

Well, my peeps, it seems I haven't given you a proper introduction to my chickies.
My oldest daughter is Frances. I adopted her in 1999 from Nanning, Guangxi, when she was 12 months old. As my first child, she holds a very special place in my heart. She is smart and loves reading, television, drawing & eating carbohydrates. She has been taking Suzuki violin since she was 5 years old.

In 2001, I met my darling daughter Analise; she was 18 months old and from Hanchuan, Hubei. Ana is an old soul and a ray of sunshine - everyone who meets her adores her. She has a host of speech and learning disabilities that have never frustrated her (or me!). She puts her all into everything she does. She is the smallest of the kids! In China, our guide called her "the little general," small but mighty. Ana loves drawing, playing on the swing set and reading.

Well, now Mr Lew. I saw his photo on an agency photolist for waiting children and was so drawn to him. He was reported to be sweet, gentle and a very quiet boy.......HAHAHA[snort]HARHAR. Lewis screeched his way through China and hasn't really stopped. I adopted him in 2004, he was 2 and living in Suzhou, Jiangsu. He spent his first year home screaming, scratching his sisters and trying to yank their hair out. He is pretty much domesticated, although he bursts into tears at least once a day. Lewis loves monster trucks, riding his bike, playing with his little stuffed animals (whom all oddly, are somehow related to one another) and watching monster truck videos. He's a strange and silly boy. Next week he starts kindergarten and I'm sure the principal will have my number on speed dial.

In July 2006, I adopted Elizabeth, who was 4 1/2 years old. WHEW! This girl wears me out. She has a lot of the classic attachment disorder symptoms that scare people away from adopting older kids! We've done a lot of work together in the past year+ and still have a very long way to go. Elly is quite hyper and will go away with anyone who looks at her with a smile. She was born in Inner Mongolia and moved to Beijing at 3 1/2 yo. English is her THIRD language! She likes to swim, run, color, listen to stories and go on adventures with her family! Lewis and Elizabeth were born one day apart. The principal's speed dial will come in handy.

There you have it - everything you ever wanted to know and then some!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Surprises from Aunt Suzie

The kids were squealing when they saw what was in the mail today. An envelope for each one from Aunt Suzie!

After I made them wait until I grabbed my camera, the ripping commenced. Books for Frances and Ana, along with some nail stickers for Frances.

Elly was completely giddy! She LOVES the Dora pjs - they are already washed and ready for tonight, which will make her doubly giddy.

Lewie yelled "cool!" when he saw his tshirt.

Everyone also got a glowing mouth piece thingy. I tried to take a picture in the darkish bathroom but couldn't figure out how to turn the auto flash off. Big hit, Suzie!

THANK YOU Aunt Suzie, you're the best! Wait until you see what we got for YOU in Rehoboth!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Slip and slide into a new school year

In the midst of our HOT summer, our central ac died. The next day I read in the newspaper about temperatures in Baghdad being 112 for days and the people having no access to clean drinking water. I have not been able to call the heating & cooling people - I feel like a greedy American pig. Well, it's 91 HUMID degrees today and we're melting! Call the repair guy? Nah, I just got out the slip and slide! The kids were playing in it for hours!

Earlier this week, we went school supply shopping. I had Frances create a master list from the FOUR lists that were sent home. Then it was off to Target. My kids are only 5,5,7,9 and look at all this *stuff*!!

I had to work 2 days this week at my library, getting ready for the new year. It was bliss! I sat in my quiet space with no one asking for something to eat, no cleaning up messes, no pulling children off one another. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Vacation at the Beach!

We're back! We spent the past week at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. It took about 9 hours to get there. Whoever invented the dropdown dvd player is a true genius!! The kids are only allowed to watch it if the ride is more than an hour so it's a special treat. It kept the ride *fairly* peaceful! In the week that we were there, we only took the car out once - to the outlet malls for some back to school clothes! The rest of the time we walked everywhere, spent hours at the beach each day (PERFECT weather) and just had a great time.
The beach bums

I think Ana should be the next Vitamin water model!

Frances and Ana in their sandpit.

Lewis spends almost all of his time at the beach standing where the water can splash him. He LOVES when the wave water recedes and makes him feel like he's being pulled into the water. Last year, Elly would not get anywhere near the water. This year I asked her if she would get her feet wet with me and she reluctantly agreed. One wave and she was hooked!

Elly also spent a LOT of time looking for (and obsessing over)shells.

What beach vacation would be complete without the boardwalk amusement park......well mine would.

Our hotel also had a pool - we swam there every day and the girls all went underwater. which for them is significant! The kids agreed that they would like to go back next summer and stay for a month!!! Save your pennies my little friends!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Adventures at Seabreeze

On Sunday we went to our local amusement park, Seabreeze. Let me give you a visual of the setting. Imagine a place where it's ok for obese people to wear bikinis, thongs, daisy dukes, and go shirtless if the mood strikes......... got it? Welcome to Seabreeze. Now if you don't know me, please don't think I'm dissing the chunky people of the world - I'm one of them! I just don't think rolls of flab and stretch marks should be on parade.
I thought the children might like to go on a ride that wasn't just for kiddies. The bobsleds looked innocent enough. Frances, Elizabeth, Analise and I went together - it went so fast and the track was so steep that I thought Ana was going to fly right out of her seat. Elly had her head down the entire time and Frances reached back to hold her hand!! Momentous - they usually only snarl at one another. Here is Ana after the bobsled.

Fortunately she recuperated quickly and went on to a more sedate ride with cousin Big Al.

Lewis loved all the rides - he got off the bobsled screaming "AWESOME!!"

Frances still loves the kiddie rides best - she may be 9 but she can still fit her little self on all of them!

Last August when we went to Seabreeze, Elly had only been home for a few weeks. She was so overwhelmed (probably by all the white people exposing their rolls of fat) , she practically cried the whole time. She's a different girl this year - she was running around, wanting to try everything.

Lewis was so happy to find that Big Al had forgotten his big bug eye goggles. He loves them! Big Al, if you're reading this, you now know where to find your goggles!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Reads of the week

This one was a fun and LIGHT read!

Not so light - a 10 day journal from the day before 9/11 by a New Yorker.

I picked this one up at the library in the kids section. I really liked the character development and am going to use this in the fall with my 6th graders for a read aloud. 2 cousins in Virginia of the 1950s discover family secrets.

Friday, August 3, 2007

My clever, clever girl

Conversation last night:
Frances: Mama, come here
Me: What?
F: Just come here.
M: Just tell me what you want
[a couple minutes of such volleying]
F: Just come here before someone eats it.
Now that got me up and out to the family room.
Look what my child had created on the family room table! Our last name in chunks of pretzels! She is one clever child.

I was laughing so hard she decided to continue on and form her first name.

It ain't easy having such a talented child.