Thursday, July 31, 2008

We don't have to adopt another boy!

The Lawyer and I have pangs of guilt every once in a while, wondering if we should add another boy to the family. Does Lewis, the long-suffering lone male in a family of 5 females, need a brother? I got the answer today; the Lawyer doesn't even know yet! My nephew, Alex, aka Big Al is over for the day. I was in the basement, doing laundry, when Lewis yelled, "Mama come look." Alex and Lewis were standing at the top of the stairs with their arms around each other's shoulders and announced "We're not cousins anymore, we're brothers!" But we are talking about adding an addition to the house.........

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No moss under our feet

You know, if I lived somewhere that was warm all year round, I wouldn't be able to keep up. We run around like maniacs all summer and stumble back to school in September, thankful that we can rest. Here's a pictorial of some of our madness.
Hanging out at the Lake House. Why yes, we own a lake house......errrr well 1/6 of it anyway. The girls like to pick rocks, shells and weeds out of the water and make art.

Last week we were graced with a visit from the beloved Aunt Suzie for an entire week. Big Fun!! We went to CCAI's (adoption agency) NorthEast reunion among other adventures. Lewis won a Star Wars pillow kit and was so thrilled. Here's my clever shot (ripped off from Aunt Suzie) of Frances drawing.

Last week we went to our local amusement park. I was surprised that Frances wanted to go on some of the big kid rides. She even went on one ride by herself and waited in line alone! She went on this crazy thing with her cousins Big Al and Jeff.

Lewis was so sad that he wasn't tall enough to go on the roller coaster but cheered up when he got to go on the smaller one with his fav cousin Big Al.

Elly started the month out great and was temper-tantrum-free for almost 2 weeks. The last 2 weeks have been REALLY rough. One day she wasn't allowed to go see a movie with her siblings and pouted on the couch for a while. Soon she was snoozing away and Daisy joined her.

Who needs a real live babysitter when we have this happy guy sitting in the front garden?

The front garden is looking lovely.

Everyone except Frances is taking karate lessons, twice a week. Their group, the Little Dragons, is for ages 4-8. If Frances was their age, she would do it but doesn't want to be in a class without a pal!

Whew, enough already. And I didn't even mention our "brilliant" puppies in doggie training class. Sorry, Dudes, you'll just have to wait on the edge of your seat.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two Years

On July 8, 2006, less than 12 hours after we had landed in Beijing, we took off with a driver who spoke only Mandarin and vague direction on how to get to New Day Foster Home. Eventually we got there and met a **seemingly** shy, smiling 4 year old girl, who took my hand and led me around her "home." I was no stranger to her. For months I had sent photos and gifts and even spoke with her on the phone several times!!
On July 10, 2006, after a long train ride from Beijing and an overnight "visit" to her home orphanage, Elizabeth Li Xin, entered my hotel room, angry, overwhelmed, & frightened. I knew, even before I met her, that she was going to be a challenging child.... and whew! is she ever!
Elizabeth is an artist. She loves running, riding her bike, swimming, reading, eating, & being out and about. She is also full of fear and anger and has the most intense temper tantrums I've ever witnessed. Her adoption day kicked up her anxiety and she raged about how she needs to go back to live in China; to be with her friends and nannies. She alternately loves us and hates us. Sometimes when I kiss her or hug her unexpectedly, she looks at me like I just gave her a gift. She's still not used to my love.
Elizabeth is my survivor - I know she's going to be ok because she has a strength and will that will take her places.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cool Idea from the Hot Dog

We are having a heat wave and yesterday I put the sprinkler on for Ana and Elly. I usually put it in the front yard but decided to put it in the back so the dogs could hang out with us. The girls started running through it, squealing and having a great time. Trixie, our Poodle/Springer Spaniel went up to the water and I was ready for a laugh, thinking she was going to get sprayed and run off. Nope, she LOVED it! She stuck her head right in the water and got soaked. She kept prancing around the circle of water, it looked like she was dancing!
The hot dog, making her maiden voyage into the water

Right after spraying me with a good shake of water, she posed for a photo to commemorate the occasion.

Daisy had no love of the water - she stayed away after giving the water a little lick.

Ana had just as much fun jumping on the hose to make the water "jump!"

Elly tried to fill the dogs' outside water bowl by standing with it under a trickle of water. She yelled in frustration, after standing there for about 2 minutes, "I can't do this anymore! It's too slow!" Me: "Ummm, Honey? Just put it down." Elly, all smiles "Ohhhh, right! Thank you Mama!"

I'm off to pick up Frances from violin camp and take the 3 youngest to their first karate class! Now that should be fun to watch!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Strange 4th of July

We had a strange roster of events yesterday. The big girls went to violin camp last week....yes, you read it right, violin camp. The teachers are such big music freaks that they think nothing of having a l*o*n*g day on Friday, with lots of culminating activities. We had 2 concerts, at 12:00 and 6:00 - who else listened to chamber ensembles in a packed room on the 4th????

Since *I* needed something fun for the 4th, we went mini golfing in the afternoon. We picked up the ever-adventurous Robyn and headed out. Ana only goes to morning violin so she was with us. This was Ana and Elly's first time golfing and they loved it.

This place also had go-carts - the girls thought they had died and gone to heaven. Robyn and I work together - she's the phys ed teacher at my school. I like to remind her that I'm old enough to be her unwed, teenage mother. She has a *little* bit of a competitive streak and challenged me to a go-cart race. I reminded her that I was driving when she was still in diapers. It was Robyn & Ana vs. Me & Elly...... Robyn & Ana passed us 3 times.

I got Robyn back though. By the time we were done we had just enough time to get over to violin camp so Robyn had to come with us and listen to 45 minutes of chamber music. She loved it OF COURSE, being that it was the sweet Frances playing.
Oh the fun didn't end there my friends. We went back to Robyn's house for dinner and Wii - that thing is so fun.
There you have lemonade, no fireworks, but a whole lot of fun.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The amazing human swing

The children have created a new 2012 Olympics routine. It involves Lewis lying across the swings and Ana or Frances sitting on him and having a swing. Very, very clever. Eliz is too heavy but she loves to watch the strangeness. They practice this every day, people.

Lewie likes to ........... how to put this, so it doesn't sound too strange........ ok, I'll just say it.....Lewis likes to "sniff" me - always has. In the morning he gets up, comes and sits with me and smells my shirt. When I went to China 2 years ago to adopt Eliz, I had to leave him some worn shirts so he could sleep with them. Now he still needs one to fall asleep. Last week he came out and yelled "I had a great idea. I'm going to WEAR my sniffer so I won't lose it." He and the Lawyer went camping this weekend and you know what went in his backpack. What would Freud think of this?