Tuesday, December 20, 2011

turkeys,christmas tree farms

I found these four sitting here the morning after thanksgiving. 

reading with Apa

"Gordon the train...a gold dress"

no one cried this year! not ever me.

Backing up...starting with pumpkins, apples, and costumes

 Impecable timing. I write a post about having no picture and then I get my sister in laws camera and it is loaded with pictures from every one of those things. We have apple, costumes, tree farms, thanksgiving, school field trips, school concerts, santa and even a shot of all four of us. (I may need to Photoshop a few together to actually get one decent one but its better than nothing)

So as to not overwhelm, I am going to start out slow and add over the next few days. I thought early fall was a good place to start. Here we are at an apple orchard with Adi's school.


my handsome husband and his identical twin brother (not really but don't they look just alike? they are actual brothers though)

Belay was NOT ok with a group shot.
ugg I need a haircut

Ok, getting better. At least all four are touching each other.

Much better. Why is it they always turn out better when no one is looking at the camera?

Onto Halloween. Adi was a bride. We thought we might be strawberry short cake but when the time happened she was just way to worried that she would not be beautiful enough.  So, bride it was. And she was beautiful. I even made the veil the morning of the party thanks to a friend who pulled through in a time of need with some old lace curtains and a hot glue gun.

Blushing Bride. Notice her something blue?

the pre-k/k class. and little Belay as Rapunzel.

When push came to shove, he just couldn't give up his dream of being Rapunzel. But the wig wasn't gonna fly.

How awesome is this R2-D2 costume? Totally hand made.

Dorothy ( another awesome hand made costume)  and the bride

one of my favorite. One of the teacher with Adi and Padme. I love Adi's face here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blame it on the camera

Beautiful fall hike, apple orchard, pumpkin patch, Halloween costume, trick or treating, Thanksgiving day, cutting down the Christmas tree, decorating the Christmas tree, sitting on Santa's lap, wearing matching holiday clothes, school Christmas concerts...These are all awesome things to take pictures of huh? And to even blog about.

I don't have a single photo of any of these things. Nope, not one single photo. But I do have the memories and that's all that matters, right?  

Who are we kidding, photos are way more memorable than memories.

I'm blaming it on my camera. If it were fancy I'd take more pictures. On the other hand if my crappy camera ever had a fully charged battery and/or the memory card in it, maybe I'd take pictures too.

The kids are being kids. A lot of whining, a lot of crying, a lot of fighting. 

Adi got her first "report card". Its the cutest thing I've ever read. Apparently she has learned all sorts of things the last few months. Including Egypt, Africa, Lewis and Clark, basic addition, letter recognition, sounding out letters, handwriting. She has made some amazing dioramas. The only thing she wants to do is "projects " Any and all kinds of projects. alldaylongeveryday. I could probably get rid of every single toy except glue sticks, scissors, craft paper, crayons. 

Belay has mastered preschool for itty bitty boys. He can officially sit in the hall and wait his turn to go outside, he can wait his turn to grab at all the arts and crafts supplies, he apparently only gives black eye's to his sister. He can spit, fly like super man, and climb like spider man.  He has a tie. He feel mighty powerful in that tie and wears it most days.

We are getting ready for the holidays around here. Just a lot of hanging out, listening to music, and seeing our friends and family. Maybe I'll even take some pictures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

day in the life

Wanna hear about fashion forward? Well Adi, Belay and I are all sporting black nail polish. I keep my polish to my toes only but kids are full on mani/pedi.  Its totally in right? I figured it was in honor or halloween.

Also, I found (from kohls) something I've been looking for since adi was about 18 months. A kids friendly boom box of sorts but that I could put mp3s on and that the kids could carry around and turn on  and off on their own and not break.  You know, since our kids are budding musicians and all. But mainly so I could ignore the constant whines for me to turn on music.  

I have asked all the fancy electronic stores about this sort of thing with no avail. Then I run into kohls (because I thought they'd have a little fan there, they didn't because apparently its totally impossible to find a fan in october?!?)

And there it was. Priced at 50% off for 19.99$ ( I don't want to admit that I actually considered buying them a fancy schmancy i-pod dock for well over 100$)
A fisher price plastic primary colored boom box with 4 buttons. Play being big and green. The dumber of our mutts could figure it out.

Anyways point of story is that I have yet to actually hook it up to the computer to put tolerable music on it, but we are all lucky enough that it came preloaded with 20 kids songs (my fav of course) so Adi is listening to "down by the bay where the watermelons grow..." (do I need keep going or do you follow?) on repeat. Fabulous. Just faboulous.

Oh and she sings along except she doesn't know the words yet.

I decided to keep Adi home on Mondays cause I miss her too much. Except I have to lie and tell her its still the weekend and then I have to recreate any crafts they did in school so she isn't left out. Then I spent the day pulling Belay off of Adi and plucking strawberry blond hairs out of his finger. It was exhausting. why am I doing this ?

I took them to get halloween costumes today.  Since August Adi had plans of being a bride (along with her entire class of little girls) and a friend even gave us a dress we were just on a hunt for a veil. Now Belay has wanted nothing more than to be Rapunzel complete with long blond hair. Since we have the dress already we only needed to get some long glorious hair. So we end up at the halloween store at the mall, first mistake. But this wasn't until after we all got flu shots so Belay was doing his usual post shot limp and claiming that he couldn't walk.

Then we found a wig and despite the big talk, Belay refused to keep it on his head. There were no bride veils, actually there were, but they were black. And we briefly debated what a black bride looked like (no, not like Belay) but said no. Now, the actual plan was to head to the fabric store to make a veil, at this point is no longer an option since I waited till the last moment and now don't have any free time the rest of the week.  At this point Belay is flipping out cause he has to pee and the halloween adventure people refused to let me use their "staff" bathroom even though the scene we were making was totally worthy of an MTV show. 

So we see  a really tacky polyester strawberry shortcake outfit that it too small but Adi squeezes into and she's sold. Then I spot an adorable "country girl" outfit which actually just looked like a way less tacky strawberry short cake costume (the old school strawberry not the new hoochafied one). She agrees and is actually gitty over it.

Belay is about to pee all over the floor and I grab a totally consumer-tastic "James"( B's fav) from Thomas the train outfit. Its awful people. Awful. I've seen them before and have always sworn I would never put my son in it.( I sincerely apologize if you have chosen this costume for your child, but I am allowed to say this because I, in fact, have also chosen this for my kid.)

At this point I will absolutely not make another trip to the mall before the school Halloween party on Friday. I am totally not crafty enough to construct a last minute costume that Belay would find acceptable. And I'm not spending 13.99$ on a blond wig that he won't wear. So James it was and we ran to the potty.

I feel like I have a new notch in my failed as a parent belt today. My kids will be sporting unoriginal, store bought, trendy, consumerist costumes this year. And they love them:)

Monday, October 17, 2011

lets never forget

 I read this on the blog  rageagainsttheminivan (written by a mom to 2 biological children and 2 adopted children) and loved it. 

"I think that adoptive parents hold a sacred responsibility to acknowledge and attempt to minimize the traumas that can be associating with uprooting a child from all they know . . . even when all they know is a life of abandonment in a third-world orphanage with sub-standard care."

Attachment has been on my mind a lot lately and it is hard to put into words.  Really all I'm  saying is lets not ignore our children's past. Its okay by me if Belay has attachment issues. That is what I'm here for. To help him learn to attach. Its not always easy and not always fun but it is always important to remember who he is. Even if he appears "perfect" to the outside world, his loss is never going to disappear.

Who are we to decide that our children should be fine because they are now in a loving home. How can we choose to ignore the time our children spent else where. It was real.

For Belay, it may have "only" been 14 months. When was the last time you spent 14 months away from anyone who loved and cared for you unconditionally? When did you last spend 14 months alone with no family or friends?  And if you did spend said months alone, would you be the same as before you left? Would you want to let everyone know why you act certain ways? Would you at least want t talk about that time spent alone? Or would you ignore it, pretend it never happened? (Even if you did choose to shove that isolation into the back of your subconscious, it would never leave you. It would find you again, in a less friendly way)

A child has memories, feelings, yearnings for whats lost, even if what was lost was sub-standard.

Lets not forget where our babies where before they were in our arms.  Lets go beyond celebrating their culture with food, music, and photographs. Lets always remember the trauma, even when they appear happy. Our babies where not always our babies.  We will be doing them a great disservice by ignoring that fact.  Lets acknowledge that its okay for our children to suffer from their losses. Even if it was only 14 months. Even if it looks different in my child than it does in that child.  That child who is clearly suffering.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Big blue

Apparently there is a level of rowdiness that goes on in our house that I'm not aware of on a daily basis.  I am reminded of this on nights like tonight. When my kids are happily playing with a boy from Adi's class and then suddenly that boy is crying and hurt and my kids are just staring, wondering why the game ended. 
Of course, when asked to apologize, they both argued that it wasn't their fault. I realized at that moment that they were kind of right. Neither of them had any idea that a full body slam into a steamroll over the fallen body  constituted as anything but fun.
What went wrong in the last 1.5 years? Where did I mess up?  This then had me recapping the time when Adi, out of pure excitement, punched Belay in the head.  Then the time Belay punted his cousin's cat across the kitchen out of pure joy. And lets not leave out the head lock where Adi was about 3 seconds away from sending her brother to the emergency room or the black eye Adi sported for a while for reasons I can't even remember except I am sure they had to do with a short guy with curly brown hair. 
And so goes daily life in Big Blue.

                          Speaking of life in Big Blue, here are some oldies but goodies.
                                   "We're the three best friends that any guy could have"
                                         A little tea, a little swimming.

                                     A huge pile of laundry to fold. I loath folding laundry.

The amazing new washer and dryer we bought when we moved that does NOT fold that giant load of laundry. But seriously, for the $$ these girls cost it would have been a nice feature.

                                                        Breakfast with a fall crown.
Quick story about the crowns... I forced Adi to stay home with me one day, just me and her, because I miss her so much. That fateful day happened to be the day where the class made "fall crowns". Yes, I forced my daughter, lover of all things crafty, projecty, and involving crowns, to stay home that day.  While her sweet teachers promised to make one with her, she couldn't bare to go another day without one.  One night after school we marched around the block collecting leaves and shoving them into a purse. We then stayed up way to late dumping glitter and gluing pompoms and dried leaves.  They were a hit.  So much that Adi "shared" her crown and the story of making them every day for a week during sharing time 
My "fall" mantle. Is it wrong that I bought fake pumpkins cause I'm sick of them rotting by mid October? Don't worry we brought home a slew of real ones from the schools pumpkin patch fundraiser yesterday.

                                               view from living room to kitchen
                                                   from stairs into living room
                                                           front porch

                                      Kick ass fence Andy build and the front yard.

The rest of the house is still a work in progress. Obviously since its only been 3 months since we moved. Actually its killing me a little on the inside each day that the coats still don't have a home and our "office" is more like a storage unit.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Summers end

I love that on September 26th you can wake up and put on a sweater and jacket and be in a sundress by 2:30 and sweating at the park.
I surprised the kids with a quick trip to their favorite park on the way home from school. They were so excited,especially Belay who really misses Adi during the day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

thoughts on today

First off, I had a really long To-Do list and I did a lot of what was on it.  That hasn't happened in a while, so three cheers for me.

Belay told me he couldn't eat his brocolli at lunch because it made his back hurt. Hmmm...he had me for about 10 sec then I smarted up and threated him with missing daddy's baseball game. That worked.

We finally had the chance to go to one of Andy's last baseball games. The kids love going, and there are usually other nice moms to talk to and kids for the kids to play with so its a win-win-win.

I had a half marathon last week and it went well. It's a really tough course, super hilly, both steep and long.  I took 5 min off my time from two years ago and 15 min off my time from the first one I ever did (years ago). I felt strong all the way until mile 12.  Mile 12 is up hill until the finish and herds of men passed me and it sucked.  I got 222nd over all at 1:45:01 (out of 1300 runners?? I think) 30th for the women and 8th in my age group. So. all in all I was pleased. Yes, I'm  obsessed with the hard facts of the race and just slightly competitive. I can help it, I truly can't. Because you know what would have made me really happy? Breaking 1:40, yes taking 10 min off my last PR. So, now I may have to go out a do another one in a few weeks.

I had a great cheering section at the finish line including my nieces and brother and sister in law. Of course Andy and the kids were there. (Miserable, cold, wet and not super excited to see me).  It was shockingly cold and raining, great for running, not great for moments after the run and/or for spectators.

Adi told me she was working on a Christmas present for Apa-Apa (my grampa) Who passed away when Adi was 2.  That lead to our first true conversation about death and she got pretty shook up by it. When I thought we were in the clear she'd bust out with "but Apa-Apa is gonna miss Christmas and ALL the holidays"  and then " are Padme and Maya gonna die? I don't want my cousins to die." The kid holds onto things, she was really clingy to Andy after the conversation and highly sensitive.  It breaks my heart to think of her worrying in bed at night about her great grampa missing Christmas cause he is dead.  I might add that Adi's cousin asked her on Friday if she could have her headband when she died, so guess it's some what of a hot topic around the 3 yr olds? 

On a cheerier note(is that a word?) we finally have curtains in the house. Most of the windows now have those white papierish blinds that you push up with one finger and don't have any strings. They are awesome and blend in so nicely. During the day we still have all the beauty of the huge sunny windows, but when it gets dark we aren't in a fish bowel anymore. Yeah!

I really need to take pictures of the new house and post them, so maybe I will actually clean the house this week and then do it. Cause no one wants to see what our house looks like in real life, do they?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to stand out in a crowd

  Home girl knows how to flare up a boring old uniform.(A few butterflies in the hair, a couple of extra ponytails, a pair of 18 month striped tights...)

And apparently how to properly pose for an "about to walk in late to school" photo shoot.

Somethings Adi is learning at school 

1. That there is something called 'star wars' and there is a princess named Leia in it. (music to daddy's ear)
2. how to draw some awesome pictures.

3. how to stand out in a crowd of blue and white.

4. To maybe not be so "handsie" with the other kids (what can I saw, we are a bit of a handsie family, but I guess not every kids wants to have their back rubbed by Adi;)

5.How to acquire as many stickers as possible for helping clean up.

6. How to not nap but sit quietly at nap time(obviously her least favorite time of day, but again she come from a family of "not satisfactory" nappers) 

Truly, she is having a blast and doing what any 3 1/2 year old should be doing, learning through play!  We are all loving her school and not just cause Daddy is the principal!
This guy is doing just fine too!  Preschool is good for him so far, I think.
There are still tears at drop off everyday but at least they don't start in the car like they used to. His teachers say he stops crying as soon as I leave (guess he needs mom to know who's having the last word on this matter). 

He talks about some friends at school and its so cute, the thought of little Belay having his own friends. I think what he loves best is that no one forces him to eat his lunch. He proudly announces when we get in the car  "Bay no eat yunch" with a giant smile on his face. Ehh, whats  a girl supposed to do with that one, besides feed him that same lunch for every meal here on out until its gone. Not that I would ever do such a thing. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My little school girl

                                                    First day of Pre- kindergarden for Adi.

                                               So excited to be going to school with Daddy finally.

                                And both her cousins. And to have her Aunt as one of her teachers. 

We are on to the 3rd week and all is well. Except that I MISS her like crazy. I keep trying to convince her to stay home, but she never falls for it. I did bring her home after a half day last friday when Belay and I meet her a school for  "pizza day/fun friday". Mainly because I didn't think I had the energy to drive back 2 hrs later to pick her up. Moments after getting home and getting Belay in bed I regretted the decision.