Saturday, February 24, 2018

Speaking of Breaking a Leg . . .

Patrick really DID break his leg.

It happened during basketball practice.  We had multiple coaches calling multiple numbers to tell us Patrick had injured himself, and of course that was the night neither parent was paying attention to their cell phone!

Once we got him home we decided yes, he needed a trip to the emergency room.

But it wasn't broken.  Just a bad sprain.

Except that a week later it was still really hurting and Patrick still wanted his crutches.  We may or may not have told Patrick he needed to quit babying it.  Finally, Dr. CrazyForKids decided the diagnosis of a sprain was wrong, and that in fact it was probably broken.  After a trip to our beloved pediatrician, Dr. R. agreed.  And because she thought it was a break on the growth plate, Patrick went to see a specialist.

Yes, it was a break which had been hard to see on the x-ray.  Luckily, Patrick's growth plate had already closed.  But sadly, it meant he missed most of basketball season.

Note to Patrick: If you are going to break you leg, do it at the end of basketball season.  No wait, that would mean it would be broken during track.  Okay, so do it at the end of track.  Except that might cut into marching band.

How about if you just don't break your leg anymore, okay?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Break A Leg Mei Mei!

Mei Mei loves basketball and she's developed into a solid player, but basketball is only a few weeks in the winter.  

We've been looking for another extra-curricular activity for Mei Mei and found it!  She performed in the musical Peter Pan, playing a lost boy and pirate.  It was a joy watching her laugh and perform, she learned all the songs and dances, and she even had a speaking part.  

I LOVE that the directors gave her a speaking part, even though she has significant articulation challenges.  They were very clever in having Mei Mei's character say something to another pirate, and then he would say, "Seriously???  You're telling me ___ ?!" going on to repeat what Mei Mei had just said.  

To adoptive parents everywhere, if your child arrives home with significant delays, don't let the prediction of professionals mar your belief in what your child is capable of.  I've been guilty of it myself, and yet Mei Mei continues to grow and develop beyond anyone's expectations.  She makes friends easily and simply loves being part of the group and our family.  She works hard in school, has great organization and executive function skills, and is my right-hand when it comes to technology.  She's great with kids and has a heart of gold.  

We love you Mei Mei, and can't wait to see you blossom in your newfound love of drama.  Break a leg!   

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Happy 21st!

Happy 21st to our wonderful Kim!  For her birthday we went out to dinner and then had Oreo Cookie dessert.  I babysat KJ overnight so Kim and K. could celebrate a true 21st in style!  And then the next weekend James, our family sommelier, took us on a behind-the-scenes wine tour.  What a fun day!  What an awesome life with our sweet and spicy, loving, funny, and beautiful Kim!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy New Year!

We've been celebrating all weekend!  First, with a trip to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, then the next night Chinese.  Now we just need to hit the Korean restaurant. 

There are advantages to having children from various cultures!  Less cooking and more celebration!

And then we braved a very cold day to visit the Chinese Gardens. 

Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Highlights and Lowlights

So, remember how I told you Vu had wanted highlights for a long time?  And I finally pulled out the credit card?

They looked great!  Here they are on the day we got our newest kitten, Zeus.  Yes, I am becoming a crazy cat lady now!  Cats are so fun and so easy!

Anyhoo, Luke went out for a sport we have never experienced in our family--wrestling!  Wow!  What an intense sport!  It is thrilling to watch, albeit painful and sometimes disgusting to see all the ways they torture each other.  But, Vu loved it and he was super good, wrestling in the weight class of 113 and usually pinning his opponent.

Unfortunately, Vu suffered a horrible concussion during a routine practice, hitting his head on the mat.  He was completely fine for 24-hours, and then within a two hour period was having difficulty walking, talking, and remembering even the simplest things, like his name!

To say I was terrified is an understatement!  He had a round of emergency room and doctor visits.  He talked with a stutter for three weeks (missing school the whole time) and then made a miraculous recovery after starting to float in a therapeutic pool for 30 minutes a day.

I am happy to report he is back to his healthy self.

Oh, but what I wanted to tell you about was a different trauma related event--this happened before Vu's concussion when he was away on an overnight wrestling tournament.  Yes, parents do sign permission slips, but they apparently don't cover every possibility.

I got an early morning text from Vu.  It said, "Hey mom Mr T cut my hair"

"it looks bad"

What an understatement!

I replied back, "Tell the coach he better not go into the barber business any time soon.  He will go broke."

Flashback to the movie Dumb and Dumber.  

His hair was getting in his eyes and so the coach asked him if it was okay to cut his hair.  He gave the thumbs up.  As soon as the coach cut his bangs he said, "Oh crap!  I really messed that up!"

No kidding.

It required a desperate trip to Great Clips to salvage what they could--both in terms of highlights and pride.

Good times people.  Good times.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Patty's Killer Noodle Salad

The Asian noodle salad we had for Thanksgiving is soooooo good!

Years ago, I found this recipe in The Oregonian newspaper.  

12 to 15 ounces chuka soba noodles -- you can also use spaghetti noodles or chow mein noodles.
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
Juice and grated peel of 1 fresh lime
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce or red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted or roasted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cook noodles. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, lime juice and peel, soy sauce, red pepper flakes or chili paste, sugar and garlic. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Toss in carrots, peanuts and cilantro. Toss noodles into bowl with other ingredients and chill for at least an hour to let flavors combine.  Serve cold.  Yum! 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Holidays Are Never Boring

So, I hope you are living in a really rainy, or snowy, or really cold place, and having nothing better to do than read blogs about other people's Thanksgiving.  Yes, Thanksgiving.

I promise you, it will be one to remember.

There was the food.  Ahhh.  The food!

And at the urging of our older adoptees, we have added new dishes to the traditional--including a fantastic noodle salad that Mei Mei made!  And as you can see, I made my delicious homemade coconut cream pie!

Vu knows how to clean up a turkey leg!  This is definitely a skill he brought home from Vietnam.  Good heavens that boy can EAT!

Oh, and BTW, pay particular attention to Vu's hair.  Do you notice those beautiful highlights?  He has been wanting those for a long time and I finally opened the wallet.

But really soak those highlights in people, because there's a story coming up.  Stay tuned.

Oh, and the highlight of Thanksgiving?

My dear friend Dahlia is the queen of creative crafts!  I gift her with photos of dahlias that I take on my phone.  She gifts me with her incredible creations such as knitted hats, homemade cards, and candles.  When she visited in the summer she brought me an Indian corn candle, and I knew just what to do with it--make a center piece for our Thanksgiving table.

I was a little stumped on finding a candle holder, because the corn had a wide base.

But you all know how cleaver I am, and I was thrilled when I realized it fit perfectly in a decorative ball I already had!

And I kid you not, it wasn't until I paired it up and placed it in the middle of the table that, well, ummm, that I recognized its, um, phallic quality.

Uh-huh.  Yep.  But I was hoping that nobody else would have the dirty mind that I have and assumed my angelic children wouldn't notice.

Ha!  You can only imagine some of the comments and conversation around the Thanksgiving table.  And on the shared photos of Facebook. Instagram.  And Snapchat. 

I can't make this stuff up people.  You just never know what's gonna happen next at the CrazyForKids house!

Thursday, February 15, 2018


I didn't take any photos of Valentine's Day.  Probably because for the first time in like 30 years I did not have to help any kids with those blasted little Valentine's cards.  The ones from the cheap section that don't tear apart.  And then time spent attaching candy, because about ten years ago it became absolutely imperative to not only give cards, but also candy.  In another ten years kids will probably have to give a card, candy, a stuffed animal, and a five dollar bill.  Whew!  I don't miss it. 

And yet I do. 


But as long as we are on the subject of love, I'll post Patrick's photo from the Homecoming dance. 

He has someone special in his life!  My baby!

And Vu went with a group of friends, but not before his brother forced him to take a picture. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blogging For Lent

I woke up this morning with one word on my mind.  Blog. 

A dear co-worker is not expected to live after a tragic medical emergency.  It's a new reminder that we never know how much time we have left.  And you would think I would know that really well by now. 

Life?  Life is up and down and all around.  It's good.  It's hard.  It's a gift.  Since I fell off the blog-wagon I passed my official test to be a licensed social worker.  Yeah!  And instead of just being happy with that, I decided to move forward with my LCSW and become a child and family therapist, specializing in adoptive families.  Why not start a new career at 55, yes?  It's added another hat to wear as I work both my current job and a new position working therapeutically.  And of course, life is never boring with a big family.  So much to catch up on.

And so this morning?  As I thought of my co-worker and the fragility of life, and pondered what we really leave behind, I decided to pair blogging with Lent.  Now THAT will surely keep me on task!  I might not post every day, but I will at least work on a post every day. 

Life can be short.  Life can be full.  I've got this!