Monday, April 30, 2007

23 Pounds of Storm

She is going to seriously injure herself if I don't string her up by her toenails first. She is a one woman whirlwind of terror, and I'm not sure how this happened overnight. Look at the previous posts, other than leaping from shopping carts she was really quite a placid baby.

Placid baby has morphed into dervish toddler hellbent on destruction. It is like watching the old Wonder Twins cartoons, where the kids would spin and then things would happen. Livi now gets get a look in her eye, spins around and then starts a tornado of destruction . She does not discriminate she does not spare a moment to is all about a climb to abomination all the time.

I offer this photo as proof she considers all ottomans and hassacks as tools to assist in an apocolypse.

Here she has decided she shouldn't have to wait another 30 minutes for the chicken in the oven or another 20 seconds for a glass of wine.
Let's see how many glasses she can break in one week...right now the record is three. No blood, amazing.

Caught in the act. But not deterred.

Knives, she loves knives. Usually there is a knife or two in the kitchen sink. Excellent.

Climbing up to the counter to help herself to the car keys.

Oh, take your chances on that one little girl. When daddy can't find those keys, play time is officially over.

She laughs hysterically when you come home from Target...ahhh little white and red plastic bags to play with. If scissors are anywhere below 42" anywhere in the house she can smell it.

The sewing room is a playground of death and destruction as pink ribbons are flying and mixed with pins and needles sticking from the carpet. The dryer is akin to a Disney ride in Fantasy Land. Bookcases are stepladders thank you very much. Stairs can be scaled in under 20 seconds flat and the kitchen table? Tap dancing anyone? The remote control for Daddy's ridiculously expensive and hard to operate television, she'd love to tell you what happens when you lick it too much. But that is not funny....yet.

This is what you get 6 months after bringing home the cutest, most laid back baby in the world. You attend to her needs, you verbally assure her of family love, you feed her until she gains six pounds in six months you get up with her in the middle of the night. She repays you by becoming....The toddlinator.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

That Which Weighs Heavy

I've been reading the same story that I am sure much of the Chinese adoptive community has this week. It is not a pretty story of ladybugs and red threads. It is ugly. Woman goes to China for her healthy bouncing baby girl and is greeting by one very sick little child. She make a gut wrenching decision not to parent the child. Things aren't handled all that well and woman returns home empty handed...mad and sad. Child is left in China, future uncertain.

I wasn't planning on publically commenting on this story. I had planned to go on with adorable pictures of my lovely brood and snarky cul-de-sac commentary of life at preschool and perhaps tossing in light fanfare about how my 17month old is suddenly not a baby anymore...she's all about the toddler trouble these days. (Stop by again to see knive throwing toddler style.)

But, I can't. In the last few days I've dreamt I went to Guatemala and adopted a sick little boy. I've been at the grocery store staring at Livi with her runny nose and grubby hands tearing up just because I love her so much. The check out man had to ask me if I was ok. Yes, one of those days I carelessly told him as I whipped out my Visa. I won this adoption lottery was all I could callously think. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but today I won. I admit it, I thought that.

This isn't how life always turns out though. I know this first hand, being a young cancer survivor. I know what it feels like to have a baby die inside of your rotten un-working body after IVF. (How's that for ladybuggy fare?) I'm not completely unaware of how life sometimes deals bent ugly cards to normal nice folks to make them stop in their tracks and take stock in how fragile life really is. One minute you are walking along with your head in the clouds, the next you are sitting on a gurney looking at pasty white guys in white lab coats...hoping for more. Or staring at a govennment official who has all the power in asking for life's greatest favor...knowing full well you will not be obliged.

I personally know a family that could not take a child home with them upon meeting her in China. They were granted to gift of a little girl called C. 1 week later in China. I was admittedly horrified upon hearing this story from the mother the first time. It stopped me in my tracks much like the story I've been reading this week. But you know what? They are nice people. They aren't bullies, they aren't unfeeling, they aren't even self rightous, they had to make a choice for their family. I have no idea what choice I would have made if I'd been in the same position. I'd like to think I'd know what choice...but I don't...since I haven't lived it.

My thoughts this week are with the families that have to make gut wrenching decisions about parenting whether adopted or biological. I hope I have the courage to never judge them harshly for their decisions. Right or wrong, here or there.

In the mean time I hope adoptive parents are more educated through this process of learning about this story. I hope they expect that there will be bumps in the road, and when things turn up all rosy and ladybuggy they are pleasantly surprised. I hope they are committed to knowing that every adoption is in some ways a special needs adoption. Yes, I do believe that every adoption is in some way special needs. Being ever vigilant about watching your adopted child for signs of needed help and intervention is in its own way...a special need.

We will be back to our regularly scheduled girlie antics and the mother following along with bad roots and a sore back soon. All this after a short breath to reflect on life's ability to bring a breathtaking course of pain and doll out intermittent jogs of exhaulted joy all in one journey.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April Get Your Craft On

This month's GYCO challenge was aprons. Before I made these aprons would you like to know exactly how many aprons I had in my kitchen? One. One lonely sad Cathy cartoon apron left over from the mid eighties I believe. It probably said something about the over consumption of chocolate.

A new apron was definitely in order here on the cul-de-sac. You know I am all chef-y and all. Hold the spitting soft drink out your nose laughing comments those of you who know me and my long history of kitchen debacles. Harvey Wallbanger and the great spinach ball tragedy shall remain quietly in the past.

Why? Well, the girls and I have new aprons! New 1940's style inspired aprons. Check this out.

I couldn't resist the somewhat ridiculous children playing western theme. It is sort of toile"ish" but just a teeny bit too hokey. I love it. The fact that the three of us have matching aprons...well it just adds to the carticature of one's self.

So, there you go. April's GYCO...all done.

If you made an apron would you leave me a comment so I can see it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Found the Glasses

We found the perfect glasses to go along with the bathing beauty and her swimming ensembles. Only, as it turns out big sister is the one who seems to be able to carry off the glasses.

Oh lord, if only spring hunting for swimsuits and matching sunglasses was 1 iota as much fun for moi. Where is my $9.99 Target swimsuit that fits perfectly and comes in 6 bright sunshiny colors? If only I could even stomach the thought of a swimsuit for me in any bright sunshiny color. And don't tell me oh, it's 2007 you can wear any color you like, you liberated woman.

Check out the Land's End catalogue...the bright lemon yellow swimsuits do not come in "Women's sizes". So women of a certain girth and earthly magnitude should not be able to wear lemon yellow if they so choose? (Really, check out page 7 in the most recent catalogue.) Where did the apparel industry get the term "Women's sizes"? I think I might take offense to that. I suppose I can't get too uppity at Land's End, since they do seem to carry long torso. I love that, long torso. "Yes, I have a long torso." I guess it is a given being 72 1/2" inches tall. The torso is long. It is just that long torso sounds a bit like a medical condition. Say it outloud, am I right?

Dr #1: Yes, today we are going to fix the deviated septum.

Dr# 2: Oh, while we are in there can we do something about the long torso?

Dr #1: Oh no my good man, we'd have to call in the specialist for that.

At the bottom of the catalogue page it states....Don't know your size? Call 1-800-LANDSEND

Oh yeah right, like that's going to work. "Ummm, I'm 72 1/2" tall and I simply will not step within about 16 paces of a scale so I have not one clue how many lbs. but I know I have a long torso, and umm...a little junk in the trunk from the months of reading internet blogs. Can you help me determine my size please? Oh, and I'm partial to lemon yellow and polka dots."

Right, the customer service rep in Banglaore, India will surely be able to help me with that one. I think I might skip the delightful ice pick in the eyes conversation.

Or, I suppose I could do what I always do. Go the the swimsuit graveyard that is the left side of my bottom dresser drawer and hope for the best. Operate in denial, but hope for the best.

Or I could concentrate on the glasses again. Yes, perhaps I might have to find ice blue plastic cat eyed glasses in "Women's" size.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

About the Weather

Conversations with a 17 month old:

Mom: The weather here stinks. Let's play bathing suit dress up to cheer ourselves up.

Olivia: It's snowing. It's April. It's 65 degrees in the house. And you want to puppet me up in my sister's old bathing suits for your own entertainment?

Mom: Yes, dear I do.

Olivia: (See photo for "You are an idiot." face)

Olivia: Now I'm thinking that we should put this suit to good use. Take me somewhere warm.

Mom: Like where?

Olivia: I'm 1. I haven't completed my geography lessons yet. Let me think. How about the remote area of Captiva Island, Florida? I could use a white sandy beach.

Mom: Done. It's yours.

Olivia: Really, all I had to do was ask?

Mom: Oh, yes dear it is my life's wish to spoil you and your darling sister so much that no adult can possibly stand you by the time you are 10 years old.

Olivia: I can live with that.

Olivia: Seriously, when do we leave?

Mom: May 12th.

Olivia: Will that be enough time for me to find sunglasses to match this suit?

Mom: If not let me know. I aim to please.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Break and Breech Babies

We decided to buck the system and head the decidedly unpopular route NORTH for spring break. Everyone and I do mean almost everyone else in my town hopped a plane to Florida. Mindless drones following the trend I tell you. I was snickering watching the news as they lined up enmasse at the airport...Starbucks in hand...waiting out the delays in flipflops.

NORTH held the sweet promised land of Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Greggor, (as Ava calls him.) They did not disappoint. The girls were in heaven, even though the weather was so freaking cold the Muffin Man's forehead was cracking open in 25 degree snowy weather after spending the last week on business in Panama City, ironically enough Florida. The cad. Apparently the weather change of 60 plus degrees did not agree with his skin, imagine that.

Grandparents sugared them up, let them virtually destroy a very nice 1920's tudor style home, and walked about 600 flights of stairs with Liv. She simply wanted to "do" the stairs ad nauseum, nice pool with swim up daquari bar? Not needed, thank you very much. Because their names are Grandma and Grandpa and not Mommy, Da...they let them have their way. Isn't that what is right with the world? I cannot wait to get back at Ava and let her kids eat a peppermint candy every 20 minutes for 144 solid hours. Then disappear when it is time to visit the pediatric dentist. I actively dream for the day.

And what were we doing while they were coloring the walls with washable marker and sticking bubble gum on the sofa? Two dates with the Muffin Man. Yes, real dates. This involved two restaurants and not one chicken nugget. Heaven I tell you. Then I shopped....alone. Not for groceries. For girlie sandals. On sale at the Gap. It took me a serious 30 minutes to find my mojo while on the first trip to the mall alone. It was sort of an out of body experience. I found myself only looking at mother's walking with strollers. Then smacking my over processed mom-do saying snap out of it....head to Sephora! Go to Victoria's Secret and see what Ipex means. And so I did. I now know that Ipex means virtually the same thing as Body by Victoria but it costs $9.00 more. No purchase. But I enjoyed the pink dressing room with no giving a 6 minute dissertation on why little girls wear undershirts and big girls wear bras. Again, heaven.

So, good time was had by all. And, we are back from the big woods...rolling into reality.

As I was explaining to Ava that the Easter Bunny might visit after she fell asleep last night she told me that Uncle Greggor was born feet first. "Huh", I said. Yes, most babies are born to their birthmothers with the head coming out first, she informed me. But Uncle Greg was going to be born with his feet coming out of Grandma first. "Uhhuh, did Grandma tell you this?" I asked. "Yes, of course" she replied "And he got to be born and stay with his birthmother." "Yes, that was nice", I added. "Ok, now can you please turn my music on so I can sleep all through the night and NOT hear the Easter Bunny" she said. With that it was lights out.

A very typical end to a very atypical week for us.

Oh yes, the bunny came. Here's the bunny loot.

A row of peeps and coffee for breakfast. I can think of no better way to end the week on a high note.