Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What will 2011 hold for us?

Christmas was wonderful.  Bella really enjoyed the preparation, the songs, the baby Jesus in the manger.  So much so, that she woke up on the 26th and said is today Christmas again?  This is actually her second Christmas but we realize now that she must have been in a fog for the first couple months she was home.

We have officially begun the paper chase for a 0-2 either gender.

Just for fun:
Bella and Willow 

see the picture frame...I painted chalkboard paint and then fixed a frame on her wall.  Voila!  She has a framed masterpiece,  She made the fishy in preschool:)

 Bella and Poppy

Lots going on with the older kids...so I will have to come back and do a whole post.  Wondering if gathering paperwork will make me a better blogger....

Friday, November 26, 2010


(Do you notice that I don't post as many pictures of the older kids?  I do.  Notice, that is.  It's because they are so busy and so rarely in range of a camera.)

Our thanksgiving was peaceful and relaxing and wonderful.  I am so thankful for Jason, my husband, thanksgiving day chef, best friend, resident comedian, and partner.  Today it was only the three of us home.  The older kids went to football games with friend while we cooked and watched the Patriots.

Andrew is home from college.  He is doing well, academically and socially.  He loves it. He played soccer (reserve team) and did great.  He is toying with the idea of not playing next year but being a founding father of a fraternity... should I tell him that I am not ready yet for him to give soccer up?  Didn't he get the memo that "He is a soccer player"?  All kidding aside, he has transitioned from soccer player, jock, to what do I want to do with the rest of my life-effortlessly. Thankful for this boy!

Eliza loves school.  She did cross country and is gearing up for winter track.  She has made two new friends who are sweet and beautiful.  She went to a seminar last weekend taught at BU on neuroscience.  She came back talking about dopamine and brain stems... She is advocating within our walls for a little boy name F. Thankful for this girl!

Zach is Zach.  He made the Olympic development team for our region.  Key word is region.  It means we have to drive an hour and a half to his 5 hour practice (no, that's not a typo).  I do this because this is my kid who said he was going to play for the EPL when he was 5.  He loves the middle school and until recently after a ding dong ditch episode...traveled in a posse of 8-10.  Now, he is limited to smaller get together.  Group think at any age is dangerous. Thankful for this boy!

Bella is a joy.  She recently ran her first turkey trot (100m race)  Uh, oh!  No where to go but down.  She came in first. As Bella says, "I 'tended that Zachy was going to pinch my bumm."
She is fun and a riot and keeps me on my toes.  She goes to bed and we continue to chuckle with the latest Bella-stories.  "But I love you" is her get out of jail card for everything.  (ie:I will tell her no screaming and she pulls out her .."But I love you.")  Thankful for this girl!

So thankful for my friends and family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Duck Duck Goose

This may be my one and only rant.  I don't do confrontation.  I sometimes write a post and then delete because I am nervous about what will people think, so here goes.

I have decided that I hate the game of Duck Duck Goose.  I guess I never really gave it too much thought until the other day.  Bella is in a 45 minute Ballet class.  Let me repeat...Ballet.  I watched it the other day from a little window.  It is really very cute how intense she is about it.  I am biased, but I think she is the most beautiful ballerina.  Having said that, she is in a class of little girls that have blond bobs.  Do we really have no brunettes or red heads in this town???  She has a good friend/best friend in the class too.  So back to Duck Duck Goose.  They played Duck Duck Goose for 16 minutes.  Really???!!!  Can I repeat it's a 45 minute ballet class?  My heart started to hurt when other little girls had been picked a second and a third time and Bella had not been picked once.  Really????!!!!  I don't blame the kids, I do blame the teacher.  The little girl with glasses, also was not picked.  These kiddos are too young for this and a good teacher should help the kids manage the landscape of fairness and inclusion.  I wanted to go in there and never have Bella return.  You don't get the joy of knowing this kid.  She is awesome.  She is fun.  She is smart.  She is kind. No I am not biased....but if you aren't going to be nice....you don't get to know her.  Thankfully, I grew up before she got out of class.  She loves this class.  Will I sign her up for this class next year?  No way!  But all week, I was formulating what I was going to say if I saw the same thing this week.  Someone must have said something because this week....no Duck Duck Goose.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One year home- "Mommies are better than chocolate"

I have been putting this post off.  What do I write.  Bella has been home a year and she is doing beautifully.  I have already told you that though.  So, do I simply recap the past year.  It is nothing like we expected or prepared for.  She learned English much quicker, she grew taller, she bonded sooner...I can only credit Gladney and her first family.

Having said all that, I have really not too much to add.  She started preschool.
She is going with an older group of kids but it does not phase her.  She loves the exploring and the art.  She made a mask that will be in a community arts walk.  She is doing ballet.  She is sooo serious about it.  

The other kids are doing great.  They could not imagine our life without Bella.  They can not get enough of her.  We saw Andrew last weekend and he "just want to make sure that you are bringing Bella."  That is how they all are.  Andrew is loving school.  He is playing soccer, making great friends, joining clubs (investment) and simply staying too busy.  Zach is playing soccer and loving middle school.  The "too cool for school" attitude is alive and well in that child:)  Eliza is running cross country and doing well in school.  She gets to ride on the weekends.  She keeps trying to plan a trip back to Ethiopia.  We separated the girls this past August.  Eliza needs her sleep and Bella is still coming into our bed. (Will that ever go away???)  The girls have had a few "sleepovers" where Bella gets to sleep in Eliza's room. Bella loves that and so do I, because those are the only nights that she does not end up in our bed.

Bella woke up one morning singing, "Mommies are better than chocolate."  I have to say, no matter how much I got kicked in the middle of the night...it makes it all okay:)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August on the Vineyard

August.  we went to Martha's Vineyard.  First for Bella.  Maybe last for us.  House sold...so we will officially be renters.  We had so much fun.  Fishing off the pier.  Clamming.  Surfing.  Swimming.  Playing Phase 10 (card game).  Chilmark chocolates.  Bridge jumping.  Walking through Edgartown...old whaling town, cobblestone streets, natural shingle homes, green shutters, white trim.  Listening to Vineyard Sound (acapella group).  Outdoor showers.  Apple fritters from The Back Door.  Sunset in Menemsha while eating lobsters on the beach.
A year ago we got the call that Bella was ours when we were leaving the vineyard.  She has not even been home a year.  We came home and she did a camp for a week.  Heart breaking how she needed to make sure that I in fact would come back for her at the end of the day.  Once she knew that...she had a ball.  She is learning everyday that in fact she is home.  For good.  She loves and is loved.  She did not want to leave the Vineyard. She loved the family being all together.

After getting back from the Vineyard.  Bella went to camp.  Eliza worked at a horseback riding camp.  Andrew prepared for leaving for college.  We packed, bickered and then went to NC a few days early.  Jason booked us two yerts in the mountains of NC for a few days before we were to show up at HPU.  You will have to wait to hear more about that trip and dropping Andrew off at college:)  

Monday, July 26, 2010

July Happenings

Fourth of July.  A first.  Fireworks, road race, parade, and barbecues.  Our town even paints the center stripe red, white, and blue.  Bella has star beads in her hair.  Its all about the accessories:)
Bella takes everything in stride.  She loves her daddy.

Potty trained.  We are now potty trained.  Just a month shy of 3 1/2 y.  It took us a few weeks but she really wanted to be... finally got the hang of it.  

Sleep.  She still takes a nap (2-3hours).  She has a hard time going down at night, though.  I read a book.  Cuddle.  Rock.  And then she wants to hold my hand...the problem is the routine can take an hour.  I have found something that helps. Don't think I am cray...it's survival.  She loves Eliza's I-touch.  She plays with that for 5 minutes and then is out like a light.  (Still comes into our bed in the middle of the night.)  So much for my "no-technology rule" in the bedrooms.  Ugh.  This girl is genius in figuring out any technology, too.  

Friend.  She has several of her own friends now.  She craves interaction with them, too. She went blueberry picking, too.  She was so excited to see where blueberries come from.   I can't wait to take her to the Vineyard this year.  Fishing.  Swimming.  Jumping from the dock.  So many firsts:)  

I look back a year ago...and we were waiting.  Emailing, texting, or calling Emily and Michelle kept me sane.  What a blessing my new friends are.  A year later they are still so dear to me.  Almost a year and it feels like she has been home a lifetime.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We are in the lazy hazy days of summer.  The kids are done with school.  The schedule is light.  The days have no set pattern. I have started running.  I ran 3 1/2 miles the other day.  I have not run this far or this long since college.  I feel really good and fit.  It really has helped with my energy level with Bella.  I also ordered and am watching The African Experience from The Teaching Company.  (36 lectures by a Professor at NC State).  I love it.  I was not sure what to expect, but I have been nothing but pleased.
We have been going to the library almost every other day.  It is Bella's favorite place, even if it is just a quick trip.  We do story time on a farm, under a big tree
followed by visiting the animals or picnic lunches at a small beach in our town.
I think Bella is still growing like a weed.  I keep expecting her to slow down a little.  Can she really keep growing an inch a month?  She is as funny as ever.  Telling Zach..."you are driving my crazy" or me..."you are annoying me" when she does not get her way.  I signed her up for ballet in the fall.  She was so thankful and happy...it almost hurt my heart.  Weeks later, she is still thanking me "for signing (her) up for ballerina."  We made a few new friends, one of which is moving to CA.

Andrew went to another prom.  We also had his graduation party.  He is now getting ready for college.  He is working a ton.  He is also still playing soccer.  I take him to High Point for early registration in a few weeks.  It will be the first time I leave Bella over night.  Jason will have her but I am still a little worried for her.

When I grow up, I want to be like Eliza.  She ordered a few things on-line for herself, the boys, and Bella...who is the mom here?  She noticed that they have free bridal wrap.  She had her and Bella's items wrapped, saying"Imagine how excited she will be to open the box."  She had the card read... "To help you fight the dragons," referring to Bella's slaying of the imaginary dragons the day earlier in the park.  Bella was so excited to unwrap her little sneakers.  I have so much to learn from this girl.

Zach graduated from elementary school.

So, life is good.  Blessed.  (Next time, I may write about thoughts/worries about raising a beautiful African girl in a town that is predominantly white or the stirrings to adopt again...just need to start writing it down...but for now another light post.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big and Little Happenings

Big happenings:
My oldest has graduated from high school.

Little happenings:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bad Blogger...life at warp speed continued * edited

Life with a three year old is so much fun.  We live so much more simple.  We make a house for the flower fairies and wood elves.  We made a chandelier out of sea glass and a table out of rocks.  Bella loves imaginary play.  The older kids are loving this stage.  It is over so quickly, and this go around I am enjoying every moment...bc I know how fast it goes.

Andrew graduates next week.  I will miss him terribly.  The college process is really stressful on them.  He was so torn between schools and rankings and what they had to offer. In the end he decided to go to High Point University in NC.  They offered him a leadership and academic scholarship and they have a division 1 soccer program.  He has won three awards/ scholarships this spring.  The one of which I am most proud is the one given by his school for character on and off the field, striving for excellence in athletics and academics.  One that young boys would think is cool...Major League Baseball gave him one for his work in Boston with volunteers of America.  He got to meet Jason Varitek.  He also had his prom.  What a great time in his life this is.  Stressful but exciting, too.

Eliza had her spring fling for the freshman at her school.  She is also playing lacrosse.  The reason Bella is wearing the same outfit is because they were the same night...no, not in the same town either.  Now, you are getting the "warp speed" bit.

Zach is good.  Well, at this very moment he has the stomach bug...but in general.  He is good:)

Now for Bella, so much to tell.  She is doing great.  We are having a ball with her.  She just had her 3y check up.  She has grown 7 1/2 inches, and 2 lbs. She has grown 3 shoe sizes.  I have to give Gladney credit.  They started her on this path...we just get to see the amazing results.  With our first mother's day behind us...I have been thinking so much of her ET mother.  What to call her?  She loved her baby girl.  She nursed her baby girl.  I am sure she had dreams for her, as well.  What were they?  She was so much more than a birth mom.  We have started call her by her name.  Don't think that I am crazy but...recently, Bella had surgery.  Nothing big...just a biopsy on a mass.  Sounds scarier than it should.  While I was snuggling with Bella coming out of surgery...I was thinking and praying for her mother in heaven.  There is no part of my heart that Bella has not colored.  We are completely synchronized.  I feel like I have a friend in Arfosa.  As she watches her daughter grow, I think she would be happy...not the way it was meant to be, but at peace.  I think that she would know how much she is loved and cherished.  Bella wants to be a doctor or a soccer player (go figure).  She just got small lacrosse sticks.  She loves American Idol.  Her eating is great...loves hummus, yogurt, and M&Ms.  She loves going on errands with Andrew.  She will miss him terribly next year.   She loves Ruth and Aster and another set of ET twins Aster and Milkie.  She loves to be read to.  She loves to be rocked.

Okay, so I am going to try and be better about blogging.  I am also loving my morning ritual. My new goal is to do yoga every day for a year.  I am the three month mark.  It feels great.  I feel less rickety and less old:)  

* so this is why I don't blog much...as I wrote this post little Miss B got into the sorry game, the monopoly game, connect 4...all pieces are on the floor in the family room...I guess they needed to be organized.  That is what I will be doing for the next hour.  Oh dear.