Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ~Robert Fulghum

Everyday before Ella goes to preschool, I let her sit down and watch 1/2 hour of television while I clean up around the house. She always picks Pinky Dinky Doo. For those of you who are not familiar with Pinky Dinky Doo, the show is interactive. I usually hear Ella talking/screaming out answers to questions or singing along. Today, all I heard was silence. So, I come downstairs to this

I asked Ella why she was drinking a Diet Coke. She looks at me and says:

"I want to be just like momma."

Yikes! I have been trying to stop drinking pop, especially Diet Coke, but once in a while-a girl just needs a caffeine boost. After today, I think I'm good. I'm done drinking Diet Coke in public. When and if I need a lift-I am so in the closet drinking my Diet Coke.

And if anyone is up tonight between 10-3 am, call me-I'll be up with a child bouncing off the walls.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blogging Deep Into The Night

Ella has been recovering from pneumonia and her sleep schedule is a little off again. Last night, I was up with Ella quite late and she said something that I did not expect. She asked if we could look at her "computer friends."
We adopted Ella when she turned four years old and knowing that she would remember her time in China I wasn't sure what to expect. In the first few months upon coming home, Ella had some pretty awful night terrors in which she woke up begging to go back to China and her nanny Jenny. I would sit and talk with her until she calmed down enough to go back to sleep. I have at times, sat with my daughter, 2 in the morning, in her closet, looking at orphanage pictures while she sobs. I know this is all normal and I try my best to comfort her own feelings. I never want to tell her that what she is feeling is wrong, but what I have tried to do is explain the situation. On the day that Ella left the orphanage, her nanny told her goodbye and explained to her that her momma and papa (baba) were waiting for her. Ella has told me many times "Jenny say bye-bye to Ella." My heart breaks knowing that Ella had to leave someone who loved her so much. I decided a few months ago that I would involve Ella in blogging. I want her know that she is not alone in leaving an orphanage to live with a family. I try to relate Ella's experience with what I can show her on the blogs. Ella LOVES to sit on my lap as we look at different blogs and talk about how all these girls said good-bye to their "Jenny's." I show her how happy these girls are to have a mommy, daddy, siblings, grandparents-whatever the situation may be. I tell her that these little girls on the computer are just like her. They left China because their momma and papa loved and wanted them so much. I always try to make it personal; she is your age, she goes to school like you, she has the same name as you, she has toys like you, she has a family just like you.
So to all the China Adoption blogs I have lurked, stalked and become a regular customer:

Thank You
Thank You for be willing to open up your life
Posting about the good and the bad
Your impact on my daughter's life has been immeasurable

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain

What does two water bottles, wire, paddles made out of a shoe box, one ball and a pool table get you?

Homemade Table Tennis

(Apologizing for the bad pics-my normal camera had a dead battery)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Trained Him Well

DH went out to do some shopping last night-he told me he was going to a sporting good store, but came home an hour later with a Dillard's bag. In the Dillard's bag was 4 pair of Ralph Lauren dress pants that were each $21.25 marked down from $85.00. A savings of $255.00. I am bursting with pride-I taught him well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ella - The Party Planner

Ella's Fourth Birthday Party in China - November 8, 2007

Ella wakes up everyday and asks "Is it my birthday, Momma?"

To which I reply "No honey, not today."

And then, like every other day, we start the process of planning her birthday party.

We go through the list of people who are going to be invited to her birthday.

We talk about what kind of cake she is going to have.

We discuss the games that will be played.

We mull over the pinata choice.

We take a strategic approach about which princess dress she should wear.

Ella's birthday is not until November 8th, but she has attended many birthday parties since she came home 10 months ago and desperately wants to have a birthday party.

I am sure in her little mind, she thinks that November 8th will never come.

As her mom, I am not ready to have another birthday party.

I can not image that any type of birthday celebration will compare to her last birthday party. We were in China and Ella had only been in my arms for 4 days.

We were wild in love with this child; she laughed at everything and out giggled her daddy.

Our wonderful guide Jocelyn, helped us order a cake.

We were having a group dinner the night of Ella's birthday and I wanted everyone to sing Happy Birthday to our little girl.

I will never forget the moment the cake was placed in front of Ella, laughing at the fire on the candles, singing and watching her blow out the candles.

The moment is one that I will treasure forever.

Being in China-Ella's homeland, with this precious daughter of mine, surrounded by a fantastic group of people, celebrating her fourth birthday and a new beginning.

For me, November 8th will come soon enough.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I will never forget the day that I woke up and my heart stopped.

My hearts still stops whenever I see images from 9/11.

The grief and sadness.

The terror and horror.

The unity of the nation.

Three years after 9/11 on a family vacation to New York City,

I stood at Ground Zero with my kids in silence.

As we were leaving Ground Zero, we watched a new shift of police officers arrive for work.

A crowd gathered around; it was the changing of the guard.

A roll call, assignments given out, salutes, remembering those fallen officers.

I will never forget watching my boys watch them.

Today, they talked about that moment on the way to school.

My youngest said "Mom, I am so glad we live in America."

I told him "Me too."

God Bless This Great Nation.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Ok-I am going to be straight up admit it-I was hoping Ella would never come home from preschool with homework. I imagine that I feel this way because she is my 4th child and preschool for me is a place for mom to drop off a child for a couple hours-no homework strings attached. I am ok with providing snack, doing show and tell and even a field trip, but please no homework. Ella goes to preschool 5 days a week and her teacher sends home homework every night. So, my "no homework strings attached preschool" is not happening. Today, her brothers decided to put their scholarly wisdom to good use and help Ella with her homework. What they did not expect was the sour reception by Ella. Although, who could blame a girl when all your brothers tell you is that you are going to get an "F" on your homework because you are not following instructions. My oldest, who has never gotten below a "A" was freaking out. He kept telling Ella that her name was below the baseline, her letters were not straight and asking her, in a very loving older brother way, if she was ok with getting an "F" on her homework. I was cracking up watching this whole show go down in my kitchen as I was explaining to him that Ella is only in preschool-doesn't really count when applying for college. Remind me in 10 years not to let him teach her how to drive.