Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

We had loads of fun with the family at the country house this weekend. We did some fishing, swimming, biking, hiking, plenty of eating and playing games. We even celebrated FIVE birthdays while we were there! Here’s a photographic summary of the weekend’s events.

We are leaving early tomorrow for a week-long family vacation. There will be many hours spent in the car with four children. Please pray for us. I’m sure I will have plenty of pictures to share when we get back.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Another year of Sunday School came to a close over the weekend. We always end the year by having all the teachers and children come together for an end-of-the-year celebration during our last class. We had a smaller number of kids this year, but the celebration was no less meaningful or memorable than usual. The other fun thing we do is get together for a barbecue the afternoon of our last class. The kids get to run around and play on the playground together, we eat some good food, and, again, just celebrate a great year of Sunday School. This was the conclusion of our sixth year, and I pray that we will have enough students and teachers to continue the program for many years to come. You can see pictures of the Sunday School celebration here.

Miss M had even more to celebrate the day of the Sunday School picnic. Later that same day (and at the same park) was her “Flying Up” ceremony for Girl Scouts. My little girl is no longer a Brownie, but is now a Junior Girl Scout. Out with the brown…in with the green.

Check out all the badges and activity patches from her Brownie years! She and I will need to do some shopping to get her a new vest for all the awards she will certainly be earning over the next three years as a Junior. Congratulations, Miss M. Here are some Fly-up Photos.

Friday is the last day of school. We’ll say good-bye to teachers and classrooms and we will not be back for nearly three whole months. They celebrate at school with a closing Mass before the children are dismissed for the summer.

There seems to be a pattern forming here; it seems that with closure comes celebration. It is fitting that we recognize the joys and the benefits that certain activities or events have brought into our lives. It is also fitting that we properly acknowledge that many of these things are seasonal or temporary. But we cannot overlook that as these things are coming to a close, a new season is upon us that needs our attention. In other words…

…I can’t forget
the trips to the country house,
our week-long camping vacation,
softball games,
Girl Scout day camp,
Vacation Bible School,
baseball games,
Safety Town,
Mother-Daughter Girl Scout camp,
the other Vacation Bible School,
the other Girl Scout day camp,
PLUS the fact that I am committed to ride 80 miles for MS in September.

Closure is very short-lived.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have a bad relationship with May. Fortunately, May is not a person; it’s a month of the year. A very BUSY month of the year. There is simply too much written on the current page of our calendar, and I am starting to resent the whole month. I realize it probably isn’t fair to hold it against May like that. After all, the flowers are gorgeous, the weather is nice, and let’s not forget Mother’s Day!

This week was way too busy for me to even blog about. One of the highlights, though, was Big D’s “graduation” from preschool on Friday. We told him he’s officially a Kindergartener now that he has completed preschool. So this morning he got Banana out of her crib (remember, he’s five and the side of her crib goes up over his head). His dad and I were glad nobody was hurt, but we reminded him that we’ve never allowed him to get his sister out of bed. He said, “It’s OK. I’m in Kindergarten now so I am tall enough to get her out of the crib.”

Miss M finally had her first softball game this week. After two rain-outs, the team was able to play in their first big game. This is the first year that the girls pitch to each other instead of the coaches pitching to them. It sounds exciting, but so far it’s been pretty slow. The number of walks in an inning has increased dramatically, and when a girl actually gets a hit the crowd goes wild. I thought it was fun to watch, but then again, I just enjoy watching my kids having fun.

This week C.B.’s preschool teacher gave me a picture that she took of C.B. earlier in the school year. The first thing that struck me is how much hair he had in the picture (since he has none right now). The next thing I noticed is that he wasn’t wearing his usual cheesy grin, or even this face. I think this is one the nicest pictures I have of C.B.

The Banana has been trying to use more real words lately. There’s still a lot I don’t understand, however, and we are both getting frustrated about it. We started working with her on using sign language about six months ago, but there are many more words she needs to know in order to communicate with us besides “milk”, “please” and “play”. She is actually saying the words “cheese” and “thank you” and, of course “mommy” and “daddy”. It won’t be long before she’s talking, and once she starts, I expect she won’t stop!!

I’m gearing up for another beautiful, yet BUSY, weekend. Sunday is so jam-packed with activities that the whole family will surely be in a fun-filled frenzy. I am looking forward to relaxing Monday. (Is that possible?)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It’s a Good Thing

I don’t mean to sound like Martha Stewart, but I feel good today. I feel productive. It’s only mid-afternoon and I have accomplished a lot already. This morning I baked a rather large book-shaped cake for a trio of retiring librarians. Immediately after it came out of the oven I loaded the Banana and C.B. into Big Blue (our SUV) along with the bike trailer and –

drum roll please

– my new bike!

I went to the park to ride around the lake with two kids trailing behind me. It was 60 degrees outside, which was perfect. It was a little too windy for me at times, but I couldn’t complain. At least I was riding my bike. It was only the third time I have ridden it since I bought it last week. Banana and C.B. had a large bag of snacks to share during their ride. They were quite happy the first time around the lake. But when I started around again, C.B. was very disappointed that we weren’t going back to the car. Banana, however, simply snored. She had fallen asleep. I wasn't surprised that she fell asleep, but that she stayed asleep while C.B. hollered up to me (multiple times) that he just wanted to go back to the car. He was nice enough to let her rest her head on his shoulder though.

Doesn’t he look happy?

I had the bike, the trailer, and the kids all packed up, and I was on the road with just enough time to get Big D from school. The Banana took a nap, and the boys and I had a lovely lunch (ask me about Boca Spicy Chik’n if you dare!) I have my work cut out for me the rest of the day as well. I have to finish decorating the cake, put away the laundry I did yesterday, and shine up the house a bit because –

another drum roll please

– a potential buyer is coming to look at it today! Please say a prayer that someone buys it soon. We are getting kind of tired of this house selling thing.

I hope you have a productive day too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Adoption Education - Part III

For the past several weeks, I have been using this blog as a means to inform people about adoption. Part I and Part II presented several comments that adoptive parents frequently hear. These comments are not usually meant to cause offense, but they may inadvertently upset an adoptive parent or a child who has been adopted. This post will deal with the comment that I hear more than any other when I am out with my children.


This is a comment that I don’t mind hearing over and over again. And I do. All the time. I realize that previous posts have focused on negative comments, but the fact is that most of the comments my husband and I receive are about how beautiful, and even well-behaved our children are. We feel very comfortable in our neighborhood, school, and church, and we really only get positive reactions even in our larger community.

When we started the adoption process six years ago, our caseworker recommended a specific book about transracial adoption. I read it as if it were required reading for a college class. While this book contained a lot of useful information, it also gave me the impression that our family would be met with stares and criticism wherever we went. That has not been the case in the five and a half years we have been a transracial family. We do occasionally get one of the comments or questions I mentioned in the earlier posts, but more often we hear “What a pretty baby!” or “You’ve got a couple of good looking boys there”. How do we respond to those sorts of comments? With a “thank you”, of course!

And speaking of thanks, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our family and friends who have been so loving and supportive of our family. (You know who you are and that we love you.) My husband and I realize that the most important thing is that our kids are happy and healthy. Because of the kindness and caring of our friends and family, I am confident that our kids will always feel loved and respected. Because of the help and encouragement from our family and friends, our kids will grow strong and sure in a safe, secure environment. We continually thank God for all of you.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

It is mother’s day.
My Mom is the best; she is nice, pretty, helpful, caring, and loving.
She is one of my Girl Scout leaders.
She goes to leader daughter things with me.
She is the BEST MOM EVER!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A New Hairdo

Not for me this time. This time it’s all about C.B. and his hair. He has never had an opinion about his hair, which is why this whole thing has been so funny. Over the weekend Big D got his head shaved. We do that quite a bit during the hotter months because it’s cool and easy, and his hair type is just perfect for a shaved head. He also looks great with his summer haircut.

Dad uses a #1 guard on the electric shaver for Big D’s head so there’s a bit of fuzz left. However, he usually uses a #2 or #3 on C.B. because his hair type isn’t like his brother’s. So Dad was hesitant to comply when C.B. asked to have his head shaved just like Big D’s. But he figured that it was just hair and it would grow back so he left the #1 on the shaver and started buzzing away.

C.B asked to see his hair halfway through the shaving process. He had hair on one side and not the other. He thought it looked a little like a mohawk, and he liked that. I believe “Awesome!” was his exact response. He asked Dad if he really could have a mohawk. Dad thought it might be fun for a day or two, but not for school. C.B. agreed, and so he became Mr. T for the weekend.

And he LOVED it. He asked us all day long if it was still sticking up. He continually checked his reflection in the television to make sure it was just right. He didn’t want people to touch it, even though it was impossible for people to resist touching it. He even put hair stuff in it to help it stand up (remember…he’s four.) It was both cute and funny.

But when school day came Dad got out the shaver again. I was very sad to see it go because of how much C.B. liked his new hairdo. However, he was still surprisingly agreeable about the whole thing. Assuming the #1 guard was still on, Dad started buzzing down the center of C.B.’s head. He realized immediately that there was NO GUARD on the shaver and that C.B. now had a reverse mohawk!! There was nothing left to do but continue shaving the rest of his little head with no guard. Mr. T turned into Kojak in about 3.5 minutes.

Give that boy a lollipop!

C.B. seems to be a little more willing to let people touch this new hairdo. In fact, he told the kids at school that his head felt like sandpaper and invited each of them to touch it. It wasn’t even Show & Tell day!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Adoption Education - Part II

I would like to continue the (one-sided) conversation about adoption I started a couple of weeks ago here. As I stated in that post, I attended a workshop for parents who had adopted transracially. Among other things, we discussed some of the reactions and comments we get from people when we are out with our kids. It was so nice to talk with the other parents there that evening. We all agreed that we need to help educate the public about adoption and help people develop a healthy attitude towards adoptive families. I hope you don’t mind me using this blog to do just that. This post relates to a comment I hear quite frequently.


This is the comment I seem to hear most often, and the one I like the least. However, I have never been able to explain why I dislike it so much. I honestly don't think this comment is meant to be offensive, but it definitely bothers me. When we discussed it at the workshop, other people had very clear reasons why it bothered them. One person even suggested that it was a racist statement, because it is basically saying that only saints would choose to raise a child of a different race. Another person pointed out that you don’t usually hear people commenting to biological parents that they are saints for raising their children.

But I think it bothers me mostly because of the effect it may have on my kids to hear a statement like that. It may cause them to ask, “What’s wrong with me that my parents are seen as saints to have me for their child?” They are too young to make this connection now, but in a few years I think comments like this will cause them to wonder why people would say something like that about their parents.

The “you must be a saint” mentality can affect a parent’s feelings as well. As I said, I don’t think people use this comment to be hurtful. In fact, I am certain that I have said something very similar to my sister-in-law when she was busy with three new babies. I recall saying something like “I could never do what you are doing.” At the time I didn’t realize how that could make her feel. She was just a mom taking care of her kids, and my comment probably made her feel like she was unusual - different from the rest of the world. I realize now that, of course, I would be able to do what she did. What she did was love and care for her children, and there’s nothing unusual about that.

My husband and I have the same response to people who think we are such good people for adopting our kids. We tell them that we simply wanted a bigger family and, thankfully, we found a means to that end. I have even used the word selfish to describe our desire to grow our family. Picture this… at the time we first started looking into adoption, we had been unable to conceive for three years. We loved being parents so much that we knew we were meant to have more children, and Miss M really wanted a baby brother or sister. We called Catholic Services for Children and Youth, and asked them to sign us up in the program that had the shortest wait time and the youngest babies. Saints? I don’t think so.

(Note to my dear sister-in-law: I hope it's not too late for an apology!☺)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Toothless Tuesday

Well, not exactly toothless, but there are definitely less teeth at our house today. Big D lost another one last night, making it nearly impossible to eat corn on the cob. Good thing we're having green beans for dinner tonight!