Saturday, January 30, 2010

Martin Luther King and a Birthday Meltdown

Ava shared her birthday this year with Martin Luther King Day. Which was a stroke of luck in that she could celebrate her day in style with LBF (little best friend) while at the movies rather than taking a timed multiplication test within the confines of Near The Cul-De-Sac Elementary.

The next day at school the children were given a piece of paper in which they were instructed to write their big dream, similar to Martin's famed "I have a dream...."

Ava promptly wrote that her dream was that the Chinese government would change their one child policy so that children like her could stay in China with their real parents.

Ouch, real parents. Me of all people know that the word "real" in the adoption community is, well, emotionally packed with less than positive innuendo. But, as the mother of an 8 year old I also know that political correctness is not necessarily first and foremost. I know what she meant. I know I am a real mom. I've cleaned barf up at 3am, I've endured countless Hannah Montana songs. Ava's birth mother, whoever she is, is also a real mother as my friend had to delicately remind me at lunch last week. Ava's right, in a perfect world she would have been born to parents who were willing and able to lovingly care for a baby girl newborn. She would have been raised in her hometown, schooled with kids in China, been given the chance to make a life for herself amongst her people. But she wasn't, and she's beginning to process the consequences of her being left by someone at a government office. I can't say that I blame her for being a bit pissed.

She says she just wants to know what her birth family looks like. She wants to know if the one child policy enforced by the government of her home country had anything to do with why she was left. I can't give her any of this. I can give her any doll she wants, any computer game, a warm bed, good schools, my love, and all the hot chocolate she absolutely seems to crave. But, I can't grant her that one wish. This my friends, really stings.

And now we have one of those moments I always knew would come when we decided to adopt. It is one of those" yea, we are adopting" and someone says "oh, how wonderful for you, and have you thought about what will happen when the child questions where she came from and experiences loss and grief"? And since I'd read the memo I astutely responded that we had so much to give a child and we will cross that bridge when we come to it. We will just love her enough to get through any issue that ever comes up. And, love conquers all right? I'm not so sure anymore. It isn't one of those snappy response issues. I'm not sure there is a right answer. It hangs over us with some days seeming to be more clear and sunny than others but we always have that one cloud.

It's now been several days since we had our conversation. She's grieved a bit. I've grieved a bit and now we are rebounding. She is at this moment in her room with her sister belting out Taylor Swift tunes at the top of her lungs laughing hysterically.

At one point I think I really did believe back in 2002 that getting that beautiful baby in my arms would in some way be reaching a destination. I now know is probably isn't true. Seven and a half years later we are simply starting a journey.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New In The Studio

Dog Collars. A couple of months ago I was asked to make some dog collars and leashes for Ceramic Dreams, the delightful shop at 54th and Monon Shops, for you local Indianapolis folks. Tanya, the owner of the shop mentioned they might sell well since the shop is located so close to the amazing Monon walking trail here in the city. The Monon Trail can always be found buzzing with walkers, bikers and dog lovers out for a stroll. Now, I have a special spot in my Puggle Mama heart for Chloe, but it never occurred to me what fun it would be to make her fun collars.

Now that I have ordered the hardware to make sure the collars are durable as well as too darn cute for Valentine's Day. I'm hooked. And, Chloe is hooked up! Maybe Chloe will have a new one for each season. She will have to share her February heart themed collar with a Chinese New Year one and in March, she might become wholly Irish.

Because there was just a little bit of fabric left over from the collars, the rest quickly turned into delightful little Valentine's key fobs. Way less calories than that box of chocolate you were thinking about purchasing. Can you tell I've been hitting the gym recently again?

Here is my Puggle model. She takes the job very seriously. There was a milk bone in it for her after all.

And, no I have no idea what that schmegma that is smeared on her little name and phone number tag. Probably something she got into raiding the bathroom waste can. Not cool, Chlo.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Go Colts

In case you were wondering who we will be cheering on to win the Super Bowl.

Chloe said inquiring minds wanted to know.

$.50 worth of blue fleece doggie couture provided by Pink Evita.

It was a big hit with the football fans at the party, what can I say?

A Ridiculous Martyr I Tell You

Ava is a Brownie. She's a card carrying member of two troops if truth be told. There is the local troop and a city wide all Chinese adopted troop as well that she hangs with now and again. Me? I was never a scout, unless you count that unfortunate 6 months I spent with the Camp Fire Girls somewhere around 1978. I admit to not being terribly gung-ho when people I meet share with me the inordinate pleasures of sleeping with nature, which you know means a significant lack of toilet paper for 3 days. I myself, have always preferred the Hyatt to tents, and have a special disdain for anything looking or smelling like a baked bean. So, when Ava expressed serious interest in scouting, I entered cautiously. But, she enjoys it. I mean really enjoys it. She loves her gal pal cronies and relishes in each and every new activity they jump into with reckless abandon.

A few months ago her troop leader thought it would be so fun for the girls to "design their own" Brownie bag for their book and vests with the pleuthera of multi-colored badges. Then I would take their requests and make up 11, yes count them 11 unique bags based on the design whim of each Brownie in the troop.

Have you ever had one of those moments in life where you know this is too much work and you don't really have the time to fill the request bequeathed upon you, but you simply cannot say no out loud? There is all this agreeing and nodding going on, but inside your head is saying "Say no woman, it is ok to say no sometimes. You are a 40 year old woman, SAY NO. It will be good for you to say no." And then you say yes. One week later you find yourself making 11 tote bags for your daughter's Brownie troop. (My mom helped so don't feel too sorry for this sorry martyred sap.)

Well, here they are. And the girls LOVE them...and their sweet parents have even called me to thank me, the Troop leaders have taken me to lunch (completely amazing thank you gift) and I'm not sorry for even one hour I invested in the project. They are simply so darn cute all lined up at meetings on the wall over their coats. A few of the girls like them well enough to ditch their school backpacks in lieu of carrying their new tote. Is this not the highest honor that could be bestowed upon me my an 8 year old?

If you are interested in a similar project for your little scout, which I honestly have no idea why you would be, but can find this amazingly fun fabric here. Girl scout fabric, made by Robert Kauffman. They have a boy scout line too. You know if your boy scout wants a handbag?

Have you ever been on ebay or ETSY and the seller goes into great detail about how her house is smoke free and pet free and she only uses eco-friendly detergent to wash that fabric you are buying? Yea, that's not us. We don't smoke but as you can see Chloe the Puggle was most interested in the Brownie bags. They were probably delivered with a tiny bit O' fur attached. And yes, that is a hand knit scarf she is wearing courtesy of my 4 year old who begs me to make her scarves while shopping at craft stores only to then turn around and tie them around the dog every damn day.

Kind of looks likes she's saying, "Where's my Brownie bag"?

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Year, New Look...New Simplicity

Ahh, 2010.
New Decade.
New Blog Look.
New combined effort to balance kids, cul-de-sac, puggle time, and the wee business.
New Simplicity. I wonder if this might work for my laundry room?

A fighting chance to blog something of substance. Maybe.