Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas is almost here...

The tree in my room...
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Meet Frosty...
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Better watch out, the nutcracker army is in position...
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Living Room tree...
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Jackson's tree...
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Jacquelynne's and Jenna's tree...
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Joseph and his tree...
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dining with Jenna

For those of you who have not had the experience to go out to lunch with Jenna, let me tell you what to expect. For a little background, remember that Jenna is the youngest of four, and when it is her turn to have one on one time, she is a show stealin' little, fun lovin' little super star. Alright, here's the plan:

1. Choose someplace that SHE likes; one that plays peppy music is a plus. For example, Rancho Grande Cantina has these kid sized mini tacos, that are the perfect size for Jenna. Oh, and forget the healthy side dishes, chips and salsa will do just fine.

2. When one of her favorite songs comes on overhead, and she says "Hey, it's the Shrek song!!" as you are walking to the table... forget going quickly, and don't bother to correct her about the song's title. She really doesn't care who Smashmouth is or what he originally named the song... it is "the Shrek song" from here on out so just deal with it.

3. Of course you are headed to the very back of the restaurant, and you are walking past everyone in the restaurant, but Jenna needs her dance time. So, expect this half skip, half boogie all the way to the back. Hands flying in the air, curly head bouncing back and forth, eyes half closed, singing along... Just smile at all the people who cannot help but grin at this little bundle of energy.

4. Next, position her booster seat perfectly in front of you. She gets ALL your attention for now. Also, scoot the booster seat all the way back against the back rest of the booth. Boogie time isn't over yet.

5. Jenna needs her own dipping bowl of salsa. No other options here. This 31 pound five year old can inhale salsa by the gallon.

6. Don't bother offering any other lunch options. You are here for mini tacos.

7. When another catchy song comes on, get ready for Jenna's version of salsa dancing. She tries really hard to be careful and not spill, but it is a challenge when rocking side to side in a booster seat, nodding her head and shaking her shoulders to the beat. Keep napkins on hand.

8. You may be in a hurry to move on to your next task, but Jenna eats at her own pace. She enjoys every bite, and you are not going anywhere until she has finished her bowl of salsa.

9. Sit back and relax. Realize that you rush through too many things in life. Just enjoy the moment, she will grow up too fast, and soon, she'll be more concerned with being cool than dancing through lunch.

My Thanksgiving post from Lots of Kids:

Happy Thanksgiving:

I don't cook turkey. I cook side dishes and pies. But, I don't cook turkey. Fortunately for me, my husband can cook a fabulous turkey. My father-in-law apparently was king of the turkey prep while my husband was growing up, and I guess it rubbed off on Scott during his youth. He actually LIKES to cook turkey. It is a whole production. All of the kids are involved somehow, from mixing and cooking the stuffing, to stuffing the bird and basting. Scott and the kiddos cook the turkey. Works for me.I have to laugh about how different we are. I grew up with a mom who preferred that my dad made pork chops cooked on the grill to spending hours cooking a turkey; so my family usually had grilled pork chops for Thanksgiving. We lived 1000 miles from my extended relatives, so it was just my family of 5 around the table growing up. And, I didn't have homemade cranberry sauce until I was an adult and married. My first year and a half of marriage, I lived near my grandmother, aunt and uncle, and cousins (my mother's side of the family). My grandmother makes amazing cranberry sauce, and now I make it too.My husband grew up with Thanksgiving meals of a huge turkey and all the fixings to go with it, and lots of extended family around to share it. I learned from my husband and my children that it is not about the end result that creates the quality family time. It is the entire family in and out of the kitchen all day, kids climbing over each other to help. The meal is always good, and the littlest kids pass a turkey leg between them like at a Renaissance Festival.Last year we hosted a bunch of friends who were all in town for the holiday. This year it is just the six of us. And, over the weekend, after the turkey induced coma wears off, we will transform the house into a winter wonderland of Christmas cheer. That is our plan for the weekend. May your holiday be blessed with friends, family, and good food (turkey or not). God Bless.

And one more from my Lots of Kids posts today:

When Daddy's Away:

My poor hubby. He doesn't travel as much as many husbands do, but he does go out of town for an overnight a couple of times a month. Problem is that we tend to have these "little emergencies" when he is gone. Two weeks ago one of the parakeets died while he was gone. Tonight, Joseph had hives that caused his face and toungue to swell. He is ok now... I loaded him up with Benedryl, put all 4 kids in the car, and hauled them into the emergency room. By the time we got there the swelling had gone down, and they gave him a steroid to keep it down. The doctor and all the nurses said I did the right thing with the Benedryl before coming in, and we were in and out of the ER in under 2 hours.But, my poor hubby was 4 hours away, wondering if he needed to be on his way home. Had things turned out differently than they did, I would have asked him to come home. But, everybody is fine now, we have more medicine on hand, and I will be checking in on Joseph all night long.It is hard enough to be around when things go crazy. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for him to be gone and things go crazy. Well g'nite all. It's time for me to go check on my boy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Missing Hamster...

What do you call an almost 5 year old sitting on the side of the bed intently staring at the dresser?

Well, if the hamster is out of his cage and hiding behind the dresser, we call that almost five year old Jenna. Yep. Scott was on the phone and Jenna didn't want to wait to ask for supervision to get her hamster out to play. So, she took him out and was attempting to get the little guy in his exercise ball when he made his great escape. So Jenna sat, staring at the dresser, waiting for the hamster to come out so she could catch him and "hide the evidence" against her.

Unfortunately for Jenna, but good for the hamster, Jacquelynne came in to get the cage for cleaning. Jenna told her she couldn't take it yet because Spirit (Jenna's hamster is named after a horse... go figure) wasn't in there. Jacquelynne was alarmed and informed Scott, who came to move the dresser and rescue the hamster. I think the little guy was happy to go back in his nice, safe, clean cage.

My Lots of Kids post from today:


We have done the pregnancy/labor/childbirth thing 4 times. I am pretty good at knowing what to expect, and how I will feel about the process. This world of adoption is a whirl-wind. I feel like I have been swept up in the center of a tornado, and I'm whipped about to and fro without a visual on where I will land. I know that the end result is my child, but the process is a ride.

Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork; and I'm still not done with the home study! Top it all off with the list of waiting children, and my heart is torn (for all of them, but one in particular).The mental image of my family that I had 12 years ago has shifted several times... and always for the better. It is shifting again, and I know that just like physical labor and childbirth, there is beauty in the end result but pain in the here and now. I am learning to let go of my control over the result and wait to see what God has intended for us. If it was up to me, I'd travel tomorrow and deal with the details later. Unfortunately, that is not how the process works and I have to deal with the details now, and see the results later.There are so many "what if" and "maybe" questions to be answered. Maybe I was wrong in the mental image I had of my child. Maybe I need to let it go. If I was wrong, I can swallow my pride. Either way, I have to let the process work, and know that this precious little child will find a forever family, even if it is not mine.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Snag in the adoption paperwork...

Some silly clerk typed the wrong abbreviation for Missouri on my original marriage certificate... instead of MO they typed MI, and therefore my original marriage certificate does not match my birth certificate. OK, so we got that changed with the clerk of the City of Baltimore, and I have a corrected version issued by the city. Good enough for my passport, not good enough for the adoption. Nope, China requires a STATE certified version and will not accept the City version. Problem is that Maryland's State office will not and cannot alter the original. I have to get the correct version from the city. But China will not take the city version, and I cannot get the one issued by the city to be state certified. So, the ONLY possible state certified version is incorrect by one little letter, and it cannot be corrected. But that one little letter means that the marriage certificate does not match the birth certificate.

Is your head spinning yet? Mine too.

All because some clerk looked at a Missouri birth certificate, and did not bother to look up the correct abbreviation. Seriously, this is 8th grade social studies, right here.