Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Rose!

Cinderella lost more than just her shoe . . .

But the birthday girl? 

She had a BLAST! 

It's her first birthday party,

But it certainly won't be her last! 

This girl knows how to PARTY!

Happy Birthday Rose!  You add so much joy to our family!  We are incredibly blessed by your presence, and truly thank God that we get to witness your metamorphosis. 

Buried treasure has been found!

Every Man's Dream . . .

To wake up to a beautiful girl, jumping out of a cake . . .

In the fridge.

Paul was a little surprised when he went to get milk this morning. 

Today our sweet Rose is celebrating her birthday!

Her very first birthday party!  Can you spell E.X.C.I.T.E.D.?

Cake compliments of Lizzy!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sometimes I Forget I Just Had A C-Section

I have often given advice--only to forget it myself!  One of my best pieces of advice for adoptive parents is to remember that you just had a new baby!

Yes, there is a baby in that gaggle of kids!  It's 3-day-old Patrick!

 And whether that baby is big or small, the change that occurs in the household is still very similar to adding a newborn. 

Meeting Vu for the first time!

A new baby/child results in parental lack of sleep and changes routines and relationships.  A new baby brings about the necessity for PREPARATION, SIMPLIFICATION and REJUVENATION. 

How does this look? 

In the past, I would prepare my home pre-baby for the birth/adoption.  This meant stocking my freezer with meals, getting big projects out of the way, and going through that "nesting" phase where I would clean my house from top to bottom. 

This birth?  I think I was so focused on the baby that I forgot about my pending C-Section.

In the past, simplification meant making life as easy as possible--making arrangements for the carpool, eating simple recipes and convenience foods, using paper plates, taking up friends on their offers for help.

This birth?  Not so much. 

In the past, rejuvenation meant taking naps, allowing for downtime, having multiple forced-breaks of sitting down when the baby needed fed (and having a pile of books to read nearby). 

This birth?  Ummmm.  Did I mention that my new baby likes to go and go and do and do? 

And so do the rest of my babies? 

Not a lotta napping going on here!

But, last week, when I was asked to take on a big project for an end-of-the-year school event, I almost said yes.  Then, I remembered that I had just had a C-Section.  And I said no.  And the world didn't end.

Since that day, I have been focusing on simplification and rejuvenation.  Even fitting in a couple of naps here and there. 

And it's been good.  Very, very, good.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Have I mentioned lately how much I love this girl?

She is curious, zesty, and full of spunk!  She adds fun and excitement and love to our family!  And did I mention that she is adorable?? 

She is such a blessing to us!  We are thankful to God and can't help but wonder what Big Plans He has for her!

What If?

Monday, May 23, 2011


I go like a crazy-lady all day long, but by nighttime, I am tired.  Just plain t.i.r.e.d.  Having a bunch of kids will do that to ya. 

But adopting an older child, who speaks very little English, means I also get tired of communicating. 

By nature, I'm more of a listener than a talker.  Lately, my days feel too filled--with both! 

By evening, I feel physically and mentally pooped-out from all the talking, listening, translating, google translating, pantomiming, charade-ing, explaining, and demonstrating.

It's just the truth of the matter.  I know it will get better.  But for now, it's just plain tiring.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Day Of School

Rose started school!

My intention was to keep her home the remainder of this year and start her next fall.  I am a big advocate of homeschooling newly adopted kids--hunkering down and staying home as much as possible.  I love the chance to spend more time together, to bond, to teach.

But, sometimes, plans change. 

Every time Rose talked to a translator, or we met someone who spoke Chinese, Rose made it a point to have them tell us she wanted to go to school like the other kids in the family.  (This made for interesting conversations at the local Chinese restaurant--every time we went they would ask us if we had started her in school yet?!)

She started going to Chinese school on the weekend, shortly after we arrived home.  But this didn't seem to "count" as school and gave Rose even more opportunities to have translators tell us she wanted to go to "big school." 

So, we listened. Actually, we found a great compromise. 

Rose has a crazy school schedule, but she loves it!

From 9-9:30 she joins a 4th grade class and rotates in music, PE, or library
9:30-9:45 she goes to recess--she LOVES making new friends!

Then, she comes back home.  Good thing we live close to the school!

Then, she goes back to the school.  (I told you it was crazy). 

11:30-12:00 she has one-on-one tutoring
12:00-12:40 she has ESL class (English as a Second Language)  Actually, English is her third language since she already speaks Cantonese and Mandarin, but who's counting?

Then, she comes back home.  I'm getting into great shape with all the walking!

The other kids have been so welcoming and sweet to her!  The first day another little girl waved to her and wanted Rose to sit next to her.

Rose is happy to have new friends and it's been nice to ease her into school.  She will be more prepared for next year.  We are very grateful to have a principal and teachers who have made this work and who have made Rose feel so loved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

News Flash! Life Isn't Slowing Down Anytime Soon!

I haven't posted much lately.  Wanna know why?  I've been a crazy lady around here!

Not because I have so many kids.  Not because I have a newly adopted child.  Not because I'm near the end of the school year.  Not because I have a graduating senior.  And 8th grader.  And 6th grader.

Actually, come to think of it, those may be part of the reason for the silence.

But actually, most of the reason is because I've come to a very important conclusion. 

Life's not gonna slow down anytime soon. 

I know.  I'm a genius!  It only took me a few decades to figure out.

Anyhoo, I finally realized I cannot keep procrastinating on things that need to get done--things I keep putting off until _____ when life won't be so busy. 

It all started when I walked through the attic a couple weeks ago and I remembered all my best laid plans of reorganizing it--and I realized that all those times had come and gone and life was still going at break-neck speed and my attic was still a raving mess.

Instead of this realization driving me into the fetal position, it helped me jump start a bunch of big and little projects.  LOTS. 

No worries tho, I'm sure I will go back into denial mode soon, this lunatic phase will quickly pass, and I will return to my life of project procrastination, and therefore more regular posts.

In the meantime, a couple cute pics.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Did You Know?

The Rufous Hummingbird migrates over 1,000 miles every year? 

That's a whole lotta wing-flapping for a three-inch bird!  Of course, the wings beat 60 times per second,  so that's REALLY a lot!

One of the coolest things about having so many kids is all the knowledge I gain through them.  I learn tons about people and subjects that I thought I had little interest in--at least, not enough interest to research.

Just think, I could have gone my whole life without knowing that the Rufous Hummingbird is aggressive enough to chase a squirrel away from a bird feeder!

Thanks to my kids for broadening my horizons!  And Vu, a job well done on your Hummingbird report!

Monday, May 9, 2011

PS I Love You!

I'm late, I'm late--no Mother's Day Hello! (tho that would be late too).  Instead, some Easter pics--and somehow, we did not get many.

The three little boys were just getting over the chicken pox so we had Easter at home.

Egg dyeing was FUN--especially for Rose.

Guess who the Easter Bunny's happiest customer was?

Easter post.  Check.

On to Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you! 

Happy Mother's Day to all the women in my life who have mothered me and my kids!  I love you!!!

A BIG Happy Mother's Day to my Mommy!


Mother's Day post.  Check.

(Can you tell I'm in check-off-procrastination-list-mode?)

But it all comes with love.  You can feel it. 

Can't you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Future Social Worker?

Patrick is very afraid of bees.  Very. Afraid. Of. Bees. Three years ago he was stung on the ear. 

The story grows with time--first it was a "big bee," then a "mother bee," then the "queen of all bees," then the "queen mother of all hornet-bees."

It has now morphed into the fact that he was stung on the ear by the "queen mother of all killer bee-wasp-hornets"!

Anyhoo, Patrick came running into the house yesterday, because he was convinced there was another "queen mother of all killer bee-wasp-hornets"! 

I explained to him that bees are not aggressive in the spring; he was unlikely to get stung.

As with everything in life, Patrick wanted to know why?

"Well," I began, "at this time of year the bees are . . . (long pause) . . . they are just waking up . . . ummmm . . . because they are, well, they are . . . "

I paused, trying to think how to explain bee hibernation--and wondering if in fact bees even hibernate?

Patrick interrupted my obvious less-than-stellar knowledge on bee habits. 

"Oh, I get it Mom.  At this time of year, the bees are just trying to get their lives back together again."

Have I ever mentioned how much this kid makes me laugh?