Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Years...from Ge Ge to Olivia

There is one very strange law of time and universe that I still cannot seem to wrap my mind around. Time with small children in your life often creeps along at a snails pace when you are living and breathing it...but then you turn around and reflect for just one moment and time seems to have slipped through your fingers like cherry jello...gone as fast as it seemed to appear.

Two years, it has been two years since my beautiful little Olivia Xi GeGe came into our lives for the first time. It was June 26, 2006 that our agency rep. called and have a daughter from Guangdong Province, born November 12, 2005 in the town of Yangxi. We see lots of these pictures...but wow is she a super cutie with big chubby cheeks. We will email you the picture tomorrow as soon as everything has been translated and processed.

And, then time stood still. I was a mother to a living breathing daughter once again.
All of our hopes and dreams for one more child, a sister, were locked inside a Chinese Fed Ex packet. Something so mundane to wrap something so important that would change so many lives so quickly and with such permanence. It is virtually impossible to imagine life without her now. She is in many ways this family's little rock. She is the grounded one. She is the even keeled one. She is the one who trusts us most, she is one who loves without reservation or expectation. She can turn a grumpy stranger into a fast friend by choosing them for a quick high five and perhaps a random hug. I've seen her brighten store keeper's days and quickly chase blue days away.

And now, two years later that little round faced baby walks and talks and refuses to use the potty. She will kiss the dog on the lips and snuggle with you in the morning in bed always remembering to share the blankets. She has devilish charm that can be seen when she tells you "One more time", holding her one finger up as she climbs the playground slide for the 26th time.
You are where you are supposed to be, baby girl. Thanks for coming into our lives. Can't wait to see what the next two years brings.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I need a floaty ring to get off the cul-de-sac

We have officially been doing the summer routine, or lack there of it, for 3 weeks now. My kids and their no-school status are kicking my ass. There I said it, I'm Perrin and summer and my kids are kicking my ass and living to laugh about it, probably behind my back. Don't get me wrong, I love summer even more than that average gal. I have been pining away for summer since Christmas. I guess I hadn't really thought about the fact that having the 6 year old in school being entertained by darling little Kindergarten teacher for 7 hours each and every day was as good as prozac for my personal mental health.

All in all, it really isn't her fault. She is as stunned by the lack of routine and sudden onslaught of ridiculously serious swimming lessons as I am having to entertain 2 fighting children 27 hours each and every day. Long gone are the days when Ava would look up at me and state that she truly loved little Olivia because she was the sweetest little sister you could possibly order up from the great nation of China.

My darling sweet tempered Liv, is dealing with the change in routine with a complete personality turnaround only to be rivaled by Sybil herself. Liv now gets my attention by pulling the dog's tail with one hand and sticking her fist in the dog's mouth with the other. Then, in an impressive display of dexterity she will turn on her heel and club her sister with the saliva stained fist all in one full swoop. Maybe I should video it and submit to a contest. If we won we could use the money to send these children away to summer camp.

Oh, I forgot to add that Liv will be named the world's champion whiner at the convention in Las Vegas next month. I bow before you as a humbled noble parent. We got the certified letter in the mail yesterday. It is an esteemed honor, we know and we are so proud. Other children may have tried to compete with sheer number of hours spent whining and number of anti-depressant pills their parents slug in one day. But not one has shown the style that Liv has and the intensity for which she shows her craft. There is some serious emotion behind her talent, it comes deep within her gut at about 60 decibels beyond what even a dog can hear if you must know. Send No-Whining buttons.

Rounding the corner in this week's news round up, Chloe the new dog, you know the one that lets Olivia practice for her proctology and dentist licenses without complaint, has taken to maiming and killing small rodents within the walls of her new backyard. Yesterday's victim was a hapless and sadly cute little chipmunk. May he rest in peace. (In the neighbor's backyard, but that is another summer time story.) This dog, who is amazingly sweet natured and delightful while inside the house has turned into the Executioner as soon as she steps foot on the deck. She caught the chipmunk yesterday and only maimed it. I screamed bloody murder at her until she dropped it on the ground. I made her come inside to give the creature an opportunity to recover and hopefully scamper to safety. An hour later she went back out to "play with the kids". Within 20 minutes I saw her yet again with the chipmunk in her mouth, who I thought was ok since he got up and walked away from the crime scene the first time. I screamed for the Muffin Man who came running with a shovel. Ava yelled at the Muffin Man not to hurt Chloe (the shovel was for a dead little rodent, but Ava thought otherwise) and Livi shouted at the dog "Time Out...Bad Doggie" while swinging happily on the swingset. Where was I during the drama? Running around chasing the dog yelling for her to "DROP IT". Yes, I do know the dog can sprint 40 miles an hour and that is how she caught the thing in the first place.

The whole ordeal ended with Chloe in victory clenching one very dead little chipmunk in her mouth. The kids were surprisingly ok with the scenes of carnage played out before them. Maybe it is because we watch too much Meerkat Manor. The Muffin Man ended the ordeal by heaving the dead chipmunk into the neighbor's back woods...and then we all went inside and ate ice cream. And that, is how Chloe killed Alvin the Chipmunk.

It's only Thursday and quite frankly I have to quit for the week. I'm that tired. And, I didn't even tell you how I ready I am to hire Jo the Supernanny just to help me get out the door by 9am to attend swimming lessons. Seriously, it is too freaking hard just to get two little girls into the car to drive 2 miles to swim lessons? Apparently, for me it is. Apparently, summer itself is a little more than I'd bargained for.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ahhh, Paradise

Seven whole days in paradise last week, enough to do a soul some good. This is what paradise looked like sitting in the plumb far corner seat inside the Mucky Duck restaurant located at the end of the earth, Florida style. Notice the Miller Lite umbrella? Ahh, yes Captiva Island wants for nothing I tell you.

And then there is paradise with small children. This is what I like to call Paradise Light.

I have taken both of my children to the beach as 1 and 2 year olds and they both have turned on me like rabid raccoons. Liv decided about mid week through the vacation that white sandy beaches, lunches on boats, and fresh grouper were really...not so much her thing. She doesn't care about saving manatees and beautiful curly natural shells are just that...shells that hurt when you step on them. On Thursday, it came to her that if she threw a raging screaming fit out on the beach that Mommy would step into high gear remove writhing screeching 2 year old and high tail it to the pool, located about 300 steps inland. Hmmmm, immediate turn around in attitude when 10,000 jumps from the pool side onto Mom's head commences. Now we are having fun.

Both of my children absolutely had "issues" with the ocean at this age and I am encouraged for future endeavors to paradise by this.

This is Ava's happy as a clam to be in the ocean face. She spent the week charming each and every other child out in the sun and surf and even managed to score all the coveted toys for serious castle making. Wouldn't it be nice it if I had a fabulous picture of that castle to insert here? Yes, it would since I spent over 2 hours making that castle with a moat and sea shell windows with the girls while the Muffin Man and my dad were grocery shopping one morning. (In paradise Mommies do not grocery shop. It's against the law.) Yes, wouldn't it be nice if I had a picture of the TWO castles I made to appease my two year old who wanted a castle of her own? (Think MINE MINE MINE.) Sorry, just as it was approaching sand castle hall of fame quality, Ava and her new little buddy from just north of NYC came crashing in sending all of the little knights and princesses skittering into the Gulf of Mexico. End of sand castles. Apparently I was more impressed with said sand castle than Ava or her new little buddy from just north of NYC.

On a high note, we saw dolphins. Real dolphins swimming in their natural habitat in the gulf while on a tour boat one afternoon. I've decided that everyone is fascinated with dolphins since they are the ocean's equivalent of a Labrador retriever. You clap your hands and whoop and holler a few times and they jump and dance along side the boat. What's not to love?

Can you imagine the end of a perfect vacation at the airport? Wouldn't it be something like you step up to the Air Tran counter and the employee says, "You don't have to layover with 2 little tired kids in Atlanta for 3 hours and get home at 6pm tonight. You can take this flight that is direct RIGHT NOW if you high tail it down to the gate. Oh, and there are no seats together in cattle class so I'm upgrading you and your cute little family up to first class. Don't tell the man sitting next to you. " And then you sailed through the security check because there wasn't one other soul within ear shot. And then your 2 year old giggled hysterically all the way running to the gate since it was so much fun to hurry, hurry hurry through a public building.

Swear, it happened. Man, I so hope my dad wants to party on down with us again in paradise next year. Life's a beach.