Saturday, December 20, 2008

Crafty Corner Notes

Do you remember my reference to Ava's plethora of of social events this month? And our strange association with numerous families who at one time or another found themselves extremely fertile somewhere at the end of February/beginning of March, subsequently having their offspring right at Christmas time? Her next birthday party is tomorrow, and since her friend is a good family friend as well, I've decided to invite ourselves along for the movie time fun. The Tale of Despereaux...surely to be the highlight of my month, so far, that is. I'll think I let Liv tag along, if she promises to keep her dirty little mitts off my extra large buttered popcorn. I don't share popcorn...ever.

I made this little hipster bag because I saw this fabric and it made me think of E, the birthday girl. Seriously, how could you have a bad day while carrying a bag with ice cream sundaes all over it? It reminds me of her sweet little personality. The only possible hitch might be the lack of pinkness, but I'm throwing caution to the wind hoping the sugary sweetness makes up.

It is now 5 days before Christmas and last night I found myself obsessing over the idea that E would need a ruffled denim skirt and appliqued tee shirt to match ice cream bag. I should have been focusing on the English Trifle I have promised to produce for Christmas dessert. We all know that I sometimes have a lack of focus in the cooking department if I can happily occupy myself elsewhere until the last possible second. Denim skirt and matching tee shirt were of course not on hand in E's size laying around the sewing room. When I awoke this morning to both of my children watching cartoons, allowing me to sleep all the way to 7:50 am...I must pause to express thanks for that small Christmas miracle, I had one thing on the brain. Go to children's resale shop to fine E a denim skirt and matching tee to applique. The muffin man packed the girls off for a morning of indoor swimming at the local pool, and I was left to my own devices. Can you beleive he was happy to take them to the pool in December but gave me the hairy eyeball when I gave strict instructions to wash them off after swimming with soap and shampoo to rid their little bodies of chlorine? I often wonder if there is something really wrong with that little Y chromosome.

All's well that end's well. It was great fun creating that ice cream sundae outfit made from resale shop finds for an amazing little 7 year old. Hope she likes it. If not, I'm sure she be distracted by the stuff under her tree in the next few days. Ugh, late December birthdays...what are these people thinking?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No Malls In December

It was off to the mall last night to see Santa. This was of course against my better judgement, since I have a rather stringent "Perrin steps foot in no malls in December" policy which I have been able to stick to quite nicely since Al Gore invented the internet. you very much for the free shipping!

However, this year the girls really wanted to see Santa. Or rather, Ava really wanted to make sure Santa knew she needs a Wii and little Olivia wants to make sure every single one of her teeth rots from her darling little head before Easter, so she's asking for candy, boat loads of it! This is important stuff that apparently cannot be placed into the competent hands of USPS. It is business done the old fashioned person, at the mall. Think vintage 1985.

Being a big white woman, taking two little adorable Chinese children to the mall dressed to the nines can of course bring a tad bit of attention our way. Admittedly, sometimes I'm a bit more in the mood for this than others. And, since I had very important meatloaf in the oven waiting to sit on my hips back on the cul-de-sac I suggested we simply go incognito this year and wear our comfies. Ava had other ideas. I know, you are shocked. Before I had threatened to drop a lump of coal into their stockings for the 30th time in retaliation for their sisterly quibbling...Ava had Olivia's best red velvet hand-me-down dress with matching tights and socially appropriate for a 3 year old turtle neck laid out on the bed. Livi declared, "I wear shiny shoes too." The rest is history. They dressed themselves in their finery, just so Santa would know Ava meant business about the whole Wii issue. When Ava brings out her beloved plaid skirted velveteen dress, recently inherited from her one-size-taller friend's closet, look out, deals will be made. Transactions will be processed.

Here they are waiting in line to see the big guy.

Of course I arrived at the mall with my Konica Minolta with super zoom in hand, only to be accosted by the sign saying something about please refrain from taking personal digital pictures until you have purchased the minimum photo requirement. Hmmmph. Have I ever mentioned that my favorite Christmas story is in fact the Grinch? But then, even my sour little heart swelled two sizes as Santa, donning a real white beard, greeted my excited children with a warm and hearty ho ho ho. "Come on up to Santa's lap", he bellowed. Not to spoil it for those of you willing to read to page 327, but we all know who sprung for the $17.99 for 2 5"x7"s right?

So, here is my personal digital picture after they had my debit card in their hot little white gloved elfy hands.

The original, taken by the elves, is remarkable similar. Ava, working the crowd assembled to see these adorable children on Santa's lap..and Livi...deer caught in the headlights.

Quite funny, if you know them in real life, or are as easily entertained as I am.

A few minutes later, after receiving their "it's a sure thing" candy canes, Ava stopped and pointed to the Christmas tree nicely decorated next to Santa. Guess what was left unwrapped under that tree?

A sign...a sign from God and Jesus and Mary too. Holy mother of electronic wonderment. Yes, this was left unwrapped under his tree. Yes, Virginia, errr ugh, Ava there is a Santa Claus.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ballet Recital

Six months ago my baby would not unhinge herself from my neck long enough to do one tumble in a gymnastics class. We asked for a refund after the 2nd attempt at class. She was just petrified and couldn't bring herself to try those monkey swings and fun mats.

There were times when I wondered if she'd ever climb off my hip outside the house. Even my chiropractor suggested dislocating the 29lbs. of Olivia off my right hip in attempt to curb some lower back pain.

All good things come to those who wait.

This is Olivia immediately following her ballet recital today. All grins. From both of us. She loves it. I'm not sure what has prompted her wonderful turnaround and confidence to try something new without me in the room. I'm not questioning it, I'm simply signing her up for more ballet after Christmas. Oh, and tap too. She's giddy just talking about tap dancing and I haven't even climbed up in to the attic yet to fish around for some old tap shoes.

In the interest of full disclosure perhaps her darling friend E seen here in the black leotard, may have helped with the bravery issue. Yes, that's me in the background camera affixed to eye snapping pictures cursing my camera for it's inability to capture even the slightest movement of a three year old. Grrr... Do cameras go on sale after Christmas?

One more photo of the sugar plum fairy in the tiniest little leotard and skirt available.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

China Buddies

This is Liv and her little friend E.

If there is one thing I am eternally grateful for these last few years after bringing the girls home, it is their playgroups. We have been so very fortunate to have found a playgroup for each of the girls comprised of little girls adopted within months of each other. Each playgroup has kids born within 4 months of each other. I cannot express how much this has meant to us. Besides the obvious companionship and camaraderie, these playgroups have given all of us the sense of normalcy. Our adoption choices are simply another way to form a Midwestern family, not a curiosity at the mall or some one's judgement of "saving those poor children". It has been amazing to have a place to go where each parent knows what it is like to have to answer awkward questions at the grocery store. Each parent knows what it is like when a child has terrible meltdowns and you wonder whether this is a normal mix of temperament and development, a bout of over tiredness, or something more deep ceded centered around profound loss. And here in the playgroup, while little girls listen to library story hour or dance petite ballerina at parks and recreation...Mom's have a safe place to just talk it out.

As playgroups often do, our groups are a litmus test of developmental psychology. Watching each of the girls' personality emerge and grow throughout the months surrounded by sisters of circumstance is both pure entertainment and perhaps a window to gauge years of social and emotional interactions to come.

I am stunned by this picture. It really does capture Liv and her friend E. E is rambunctious and quick. She is sly and funny. She, by her own doing is always perfectly accessorized. She is ultimately feminine. Liv is so cautious with new things and new people. She seems stunned then cameras emerge. But at home she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She is kind and once she trusts you she will shower you with hugs and genuine love. At home she bounces from one piece of furniture to the next...preferring you roll and skip from room to room rather than walk on the floor. She relishes the confines of these walls that are home.

I suppose this picture, taken by E's mom, is reminding me I need to take more pictures of my remember their journey.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Social Butterfly

Where are all these women coming from who have in their lives had the nerve to get themselves pregnant somewhere around the month of February or March and then have the little darling somewhere right around the holidays? Hmmm...where are you? Doesn't anyone get knocked up in July anymore? Well, if there are, Ava doesn't know them and isn't interested in their birthday parties.
So far, she's been invited to no less than 4 birthday parties this month. This, in addition to the Disney on Ice, Holiday show at the high school, neighborhood party and Lion King later this month. No wonder she fell asleep on the way home from the Brownie Troop holiday party yesterday after school.

If this keeps up I'm just going to have to write that school of hers a note saying there is absolutely no time for her to learn her 7's addition facts and well, that reading assignment is simply getting in the way of movies at the IMAX. That should go over well right?

I know we'll just get her a personal assistant and fly Paris Hilton in to consult on the finer aspects of gracious social management.

The Muffin Man and I? Not so much. Pretty much socially challenged these days. We like to go to the meat counter at the grocery for entertainment. Giddy up.

Friday, December 05, 2008

At the Office

Hey, hope your holiday season is starting off as well as mine.

May you get to wear a party dress, have a drink in your hand, and have lovely snowflakes painted upon your face.

Did I ever tell you the one about the balloon parrot who made it to the office party?

Later on in the evening there was dancing on desks and lampshades worn as hats. May your season be merry and bright.