Monday, April 30, 2007

On the eve of sugery

Dad goes in tomorrow for large scale surgery. They will cut him open from naval down and remove the prostate. He will spend at least 4 nights in the hospital. Mom will stay with him. She doesn't want anyone to stay with her when he has surgery. The doc wants to get started on him around 7 a.m. They will be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. It is about 1hour and 1/2 away from home. It will be a very difficult recovery for him and for G. See I always bring everything right back to her. She will not understand why she can't be with Grandad.

Oh well. We shall say a prayer for him and hope for the best. I am sure he will be fine.


It is a bright new sunshiny day, and we are over the puke fest/illness. Yea, and there was much rejoicing. She feels better and is at school, from where she caught the bug. I hope she stays well for a while now.

-This morning I was asking her what she wanted for "beckvest," aka breakfast, and I offered her oatmeal. Of course oatmeal was what we fed her Saturday for lunch/dinner and yesterday for breakfast (when she was sick). She looked at me and said, "But I not sick anymour." Oatmeal has now been relegated to that of sick person's food.

-Last night, G decided she wanted to go to China and visit her foster mommy. The thing is she wanted to go right then. I am all for it of course as I love to travel however, reality is it ain't gonna happen anytime soon. G of course thought it was a matter of just driving around the corner. I am glad she thinks that would be fun. I am glad we are open enough to talk about her having 2 mommies. I am not giving the birth mom info yet, too abstract and too confusing.

-G finally learned how to blow bubbles herself. She started actually blowing the bubbles from the wand last Tuesday. I saw her do it on Saturday. Before it just frustrated her so I had to blow them or wave them or get the bubble machine going.

-G now does something and says, "When I was a widdle baby I couldn't do dis? But now I big and I can." That "dis" could be anything from putting her feet in grandad's chair and standing on her head to flipping over the back of the couch to drinking from her sippy cup.

When handing G her sippy cup it is best to describe the contents of said cup correctly or she will correct you. Either say, "Here is your sippy cup" or correctly say, "Here is your juice" (with juice being in the cup). She doesn't like for anyone to say the wrong thing. One of her favorite phrases is, "She/he/it not 'posuhto."

-This morning as I was getting dressed she looked at my dress and said, "I not want you wear dat." In my most compassionate voice I said, "I don't care." You know I can only do so much to prevent or not aid her fears. I already don't wear boots, gloves (even when needed), band aids (if I can help it) and panty hose. I just can't let a three year old dictate to me my clothing, too.

-Last night I witnessed G having a very empathetic moment and it was SO sweet. We were watching the "Aristocats" and G actually cried for the mouse who was looking for the kittens. The mouse was SO sad and G cried, not hysterically, but she kept wiping at her eyes. We talked about that and about her feelings for the mouse. At some point she lost interest and didn't watch the rest of the movie though.

For all children, empathy towards another human (or animated movie creature) is an important milestone. For an adopted kid I think it is even more significant due to the loss and situation of being in orphanage/foster care. Some other milestones we look for is the willingness to feed another person, the willingness to give and receive hugs or kisses, the slow process of not being clingy, and the acknowledgement of who you are in their lives, ie "mama," "dad," "grandparents" as opposed to caregiver person called "mama" etc.

I think adopted children (not just IA) who have had lengthy less than optimal care (foster care, orphanage, non permanent residence) learn that since no one cares for them, there is no need to care for others. Obviously this isn't science that I am quoting but there has been research on attachment issues. Bio children who've had trauma can have attachment issues too, Una bomber comes to mind.

Attachment is a much longer process than 2 weeks in China or 6 months home or sometimes 2 years home. Bonding can happen in a day but secure attachment never does. I scoff at IA parents who return from where ever and say, "so and so is firmly attached to me," because said baby is clinging to said parent. No, a truly attached child has the ability and freedom to actually go away and return without being clingy.

G willingly called me "mama" in November 2005 for the first time. She was 18 months old, 3 months, almost 4 months, after being home. I thought I would always remember the exact date that she called me that but I don't. I just know after that day there was another dry spell and then I was once again "mama" to her. The dry spells were hard. Of course then there are days I wish I could change my name. Now I know why my mom wished to change hers.

Now I will say G and I are attached but not so securely that she will not cry when I leave her say in Sunday School. She is fearful of me not coming back sometimes. She is hesitant when I leave her at school. She has the need to sleep on top of me or have some part of her body (foot, hand, knee) touching me as we sleep. This is a long process, thankfully I have a long time with her (I hope) to work on it. And boy do we work on it. We do lots of things to foster attachment. I probably do some things that hinders attachment too though. Like I said it is a process and it is a long one.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Early G photos

These are some of G's earliest photos that were attached to the Foster Mom's report through half the sky. She "has the I don't trust you so I won't smile" face on.

Still sick

Well G didn't make it through the night without being sick. She threw up about 9:30pm. It must have been the hot dog she wanted. She hadn't eaten much all day so when she asked for lunch I thought she would be okay to have a hot dog. She is still running a low grade fever. I hate to see her sick.

She was up this morning too early for my taste. We aren't able to go anywhere until she is fever free for 24 hours. I suppose we will go to the parents again since they have HGTV and other favorite shows. Plus she will be very well entertained.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

FFFF Challenge-Gotcha Clothes

Pre-gotcha moment still in the Nanny's hands.
July 25, 2005,
Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region, PRC

Right after gotcha moment but before realization hit.

April 28, 2007 in her living room not wanting to pose.


At 2:30am this morning I woke up with G throwing up apparently everything she had eaten yesterday. Required bedsheet change, clothing change and a call to my mom for a suppository to settle her stomach. Even after the phenergan supp. she still threw up a sip of water. At 5:30am she fell asleep finally and we woke up again at 9 am. I am so tired. Throw up makes me sick and there were some touchy moments as I got the mess cleaned up and even had to wash her blanket.

So weekend ruined. Best laid plans of mice and men yada yada.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Single adoptions

I am sure most of you have seen this photo of Meg Ryan and her precious daughter Daisy, age 2.

I like it. I like the way she is holding Daisy and everything else required for a toddler. I look like that sometimes. I mean not like Meg but with toddler in my arms and bags and bags in hands, over shoulders etc. Sometimes I get offers of help esp. for doorways but not always, and that is okay too.

I took on roll of motherhood alone with a fine network but still alone. It is hard and rewarding. It is edifying and defining. It is moving and it moves me.

I like what Meg has to say about her adoption because it applies to most adoptions esp. mine: “I am convinced, completely convinced that there was nothing random about the adoption,” Meg, 45, tells Redbook in its May issue. “She is the daughter I should have.”

Oh and I haven't many pics of me and the girl because I am also the family photographer/document person or familial tormentor, whatever. So when I grow old and have Alzheimer's like my grandmother, I will still know I visited places because I was the one taking the pics. I will know I was in the family because I took the family pics. I was there DAMNIT.

Shut Up; No She Didn't

Oh yes she did.

She thinks I think!!! Oh I want to thank the academy and my mom and dad and oh you know that other list of people who shall remain nameless.

Actually, I am honored. I really didn't think I could hit a cord with anyone. I am glad I have. There are a number of blogs that hit a cord with me. Sadly I am limited to nominate only 5.

Being given a chance to tell the web world who I enjoy reading because that blog makes me think is an honor too. Of course I don't think I can list the same people again but if I could I would duplicate so many other blogs I have seen nominated. But here is my list of 5 blogs (in no particular order) that make me think:

1.) Noodle and the Goose This blog writer and her family are moving to Indonesia. From what I gather it is for missions. I am very impressed with them to up and move to another country and culture with two small kiddos.

2.) Waiting for Sophie In her blog, Shana shows how to exude grace and forgiveness in the face of very difficult adoption situations, waiting for their son and the loss of one daughter. I don't think I would be as kind as they are in light of how their adoption events have played out. And I love the "Cooking with Sophie Lu" episodes. Sophie is very photogenic and has wonderful facial expressions.

3. Cherry Blossum Baby Christi is a single mom and brought her little munchkin home November 2006. She has blogged about the struggles of being a single parent, like when her keys were accidentally knocked out of her hand and down the drain in the street. She has blogged about her human failures as a mom which indicates her successes at overcoming and moving on. She totally is in love with her girl and seeing her pictures I can see why.

4. Mortimer's Mom Wonderful documentation from a mom of second adoption and the issues with bonding when newest daughter prefers dad. If you are looking into IA be sure to understand all that could happen during the adoption. I totally got rejection from Glenys like this mom received from her daughter -BeachBall. The difference was Glenys came home with me, and Grandad, the object of her affection, didn't. So Glenys was forced to bond to me.

5. Emma-bug A great and funny blog to read. I so enjoy the antics of "brutus the wee" and her mom, Stephanie. Again, reality of IA and the continuation of dealing with outside comments on your family.

For those nominated if you choose to take up the mission here it is.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

As Promised

Pictures from the report and one just for fun.
The drawn pic is what the foster mom hoped for Glenys. See I am Chinese and single and Glenys is a little girl with hair not a bald baby. So I am single though not Chinese. We don't have a scooter but Glenys does have a 4-wheeler. We do have a house and the sun shines a lot really and metaphorically. We don't have any bonsai trees but I do love plants. Boy this FM had it right.

Notice the "USA" in the scooter.

Last night when Glenys was having her private moment that I am now blasting on the net, Simon, decided to join her. Simon was extremely needy last night and even got in Glenys' lap with all 4 feet at one point.

updated 4/2014: pictures have disappeared from the blog for unknown reasons.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Report of Wu Bao Jiang-aka G

While we were in China, we were given reports on our kiddos from the orphanage. G was in an orphanage sponsored by Half the Sky and was in the foster care program. I finally received the translation of this report and had some misconceptions corrected.

First off, I did know she and her foster mom had a close relationship; however, I assumed there was a grandfather type in the home too to explain her attachment to my dad. G came to us crying for what sounded like Ye Ye. Ye Ye is Mandarin Chinese for maternal grandfather. I assumed that is who she was calling for and she called my dad that even after coming home. So after reading the report, I realized there was no grandad. (Comments #1 and 3 below)

G hated me completely in China and bonded with my dad until well after we returned home. I thought it was because she had known a grandad. Actually, it was because I was replacing her mom, whom she called "YaYa." Also, it seems she called anything comforting "Ya Ya" or what we were hearing "ye ye". Makes sense now. (Comments #1, 2 and 4 below)

Second, I was under the impression that although the foster families knew the babies would be adopted eventually, they would not know who or what type of family was actually adopting the child. Apparently, they are told what the new family is going to be like because this foster mom drew a picture of me and G in the yard of our home for the report. Or actually drew what she hoped our family/home would be like. She drew me as a Chinese woman and G as a little girl. (later posting of the photo of the drawing)

This is sort of sad because my agency refused to allow packages to be sent to the children if they were not 2 years old or older. Not even 2 days short of being 2 years. I complied and did not. I wonder if that foster mother wondered why this new mom didn't send G anything. I have since participated in a digital photo album for the orphanage and sent my own letter and photo album through my agency to the orphanage and foster family. I am not sure if I will receive acknowledgement of their receiving the package. (Comment #5 below)

I did notice that somethings haven't changed with G. She does not smile for photographs taken by anyone other than me. Not one photo attached has her smiling at any age. Also, it took me a long time for her to smile for me. She still does not participate in group activities willingly at first. It takes a long time for her to warm up even if the group is comprised of really good friends. (Comment #3 below)

Also, she doesn't really play with her girl baby dolls and that is all she has, girls. I don't have any boy baby dolls for her. We are extremely diverse in the race and species (think care bears) of the dolls but not so much in the gender. But apparently she really liked her boy baby doll. I think it is interesting that this distinction was made in the report. Never mind that what she brought with her was a very ugly well loved Caucasian blonde doll and a hot pink bunny, no boy baby at all. (Comment #4 below)

Some excerpts from the progress report:

1. "We love each other just like mother and daughter."

2. "Every time when she sees me she says “Ya Ya” and wants me to hug her."

3. "She did not smile much to the other babies. But I know I love her and she loves me. She has played happily with me."

4. "She hugs her boy-baby doll, and kisses it while saying “Ya Ya”."

5. "This is the home that I planned for Bao Jiang. She will have a Mum that LOVES her at her home. I hope you have a good life in the future, Bao Jiang."

Anyway this all choked me up and I was a little sad but thrilled that she wrote such wonderful things in the report. Also, G came to me in pretty good health (bronchitis due to stress after gotcha) and with a perfectly round head. Some of the babies have flat heads in the back which is prized in Chinese culture. She obviously was extremely attached to foster mom (the only one she had after 10 days of being in the orphanage until I came). G doesn't know the significance of this at all yet.

In China we made the (at the time the easiest not best) decision to hide the photos of foster mom and G because of the serious grief. Now she doesn't have a recollection of the foster mom or the bunny she came with (I put that up after one too many attempts by the dog to rip its head off). At the time though I had not only G to worry about buy how G' grief also affected my parents. That was as unbearable to me as G crying.

Oh and my OCD will not allow me to take the pictures off of the report to put them in a proper album. I cannot make that change in the appearance of the original report. I have two reports one is directly from Half the Sky with a few different photos and not such the emotion of the foster mom. Removing the photos to me is like defacing something sacred. But the photos show G as a tiny baby through her first bday. I may take them and have copies made to have framed for G to have pics of herself around the house at different ages.

What do singles without kids do anyway?

So last night I was footloose and fancy free. G spent the night with my parents. I had to go into the city to the only pharmacy that can provide G's Rx for her runny nose. This pharmacy closes at 6pm and is 40 mins from my house/work. I rushed over there after arranging the spending of the night at the grandparents only to find out that the pharmacy had been robbed so no scripts were being completed.

Okay, so I can't go back into the city until Friday when G is again spending the night with the grandparents.

In the meantime, I arranged to meet two of my girlfriends for dinner. We actually closed the restaurant down and closed the coffee shop down after that. We had good food, good conversation and good company. I guess that is what singles without kids do now, huh?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunday Morning

This dress we purchased in Guilin in July 2005. The shop owners told us it would fit G then. It was way to big. Now it is a little to big. This is her "Cheese" smile. Notice the care bear that must go with us every where? Oh and the pink flip flops and blue toe polish. She doesn't have the shades of pink matching yet; just if it is pink it matches. The trim on the dress is pink. Very rarely will she actually look at the camera and say cheese or smile at the same time.

The world from G's lens

I gave G a camera for her birthday. I gave it to her on Saturday so we could take pics at the zoo. Here are some of her results:
Breakfast at the grandparents house.

Mommy, aka. packmule, at the zoo.

The exhibit of confiscated illegal poacher prizes.
(Riki Tiki Tavi)

And Grammy posing for Glenys (got to get in the view finder, if only she knew)

Forced Abortions in Guangxi Prov.

"Report of Forced Abortions in Guangxi(via Radio Free Asia, 2007.04.22)Authorities in Guangxi region have forced dozens of pregnant women to a hospital in Baise city to undergo abortions, the women and their relatives said. Several women and their husbands said they were visited last week by officials from the municipal family planning bureau, which is in charge of upholding strict population controls.They all reported the same scenario: the women were bundled aboard a vehicle and taken to a hospital in Baise, where many other pregnant women were crammed into wards and corridors. Their babies were then aborted against their will, they said.Staff at People's Hospital in Baise confirmed Tuesday that the obstetrics and gynecology department was full. "Right now we're in the middle of a family planning foray this month, so beds are very scarce. Suddenly there are so many patients here," she said.An official at the Baise municipal family planning bureau denied the forced abortion drive was taking place. No comment was immediately available from national family planning officials. An official with the municipal family planning office said an investigation was under way.Another official at the provincial family planning office said he knew nothing about the alleged abortion drive.According to official data, in December 2006 Baise's birthrate was13.61 percent compared with 19.7 percent for Guanxi province and 15.87percent for all of China. Why Baise officials would take such stringent measures under these circumstances is unclear."

This is Glenys' province. Wuzhou is in Guangxi Prov. Scary to think that only 3 years earlier this could have happened to Glenys. I imagine their are family planning forays going on periodically that don't hit the news. Guangxi is supposedly autonomous rule at least in some aspects but in a communist country how much is truly autonomous? Maybe the nature of gov't in Guangxi allowed the story to get out of China in the first place. I dunno, maybe.

Monday, April 23, 2007

She's been three for almost 2 days

Well, the big celebrations are over and Glenys is three. Oh boy. She is growing up before my eyes. I try to stop her because I want to remember and hang on to that baby from China. Impossible I know and I do want her to grow up. I just wish the years wouldn't pass so quickly!!!

I would like to imagine her birth family celebrating at her birth. I can't really because I don't know. I would like to think they truly attempted to find ways/money to keep her. I can't because they didn't keep her. I can say she was with someone for almost one month before being abandoned. I just wish I knew for sure it was with her birth family.

Her teacher told me Friday that Glenys talks about being adopted from China. She talks about her mommy having to fly a long way to get her. I am so glad. We talk about adoption and her being Chinese. I love the fact that she is Chinese and American by adoption. I love the fact that she looks Chinese and pretends to speak Chinese. It gives me hope that she will grow up and appreciate her first culture. At least she may want to learn it even if she will not completely understand it.

I will never be able to give her Chinese culture or heritage but I can teach her about the country from books and movies and only from my western point of view. I saved all of the books I read about China and Chinese adoption for her to read when she is much older. Maybe it will give her an understanding of how she came to be an American. When she is older we will study Chinese again and hopefully travel there.

A friend of mine asked if I was open with her about adoption. I told her that someone is going to talk about her being adopted and being from China. That someone may be very negative. So if someone is going to do it, then it better be me, and it better be in the most positive, affirming way possible.

Last night I felt most lucky that this baby's mom made a most difficult choice 3 years ago and I was chosen to adopt her. I hope for all the waiting moms and dads to experience this lucky feeling and I hope it comes very soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

3rd And Final Party

Blowing out the candles and playing in the shabin' cream.

Let me explain, Glenys had 3 parties by default of where our friends and family are. She had cupcakes at school because those were the kids she sees everyday but only at school. Then we have our Chinese sisters who are actually who we would want to have a main party with and in addition it includes a few non Chinese boys that we like. Then my parents have a friend who wanted to come to her birthday party. That is the 3rd party. We just had lunch and opened presents from the parents and friends.

So in essence it isn't actually 3 birthday parties but we did have cupcakes and/or birthday cakes at all of them. I will have pictures soon. So basically we called them all parties but they weren't truly big parties. The zoo was the most fun because of the merry-go-round.

Glenys has gotten some really nice things. She ended up getting 3 cans of shaving cream. She loves playing with shaving cream.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

2nd bday party at the zoo

Grandad and Glenys with her friend Cackie and her mom.

Glenys finally got to ride the Merry Go Round at the zoo. Her Grandad doesn't get motion sick. And appropriately she is on a PANDA.

1st bday party at school

Top: Glenys' reaction when she saw me and her classroom decorated with balloons. It is amazing how balloons can make a room look so festive.

Bottom: Glenys' teacher gave her the Love A lot care bear that is as big as her. Yippee, one more thing pushing me out of my bed.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Beautiful peony from my grandmother's yard. She never got to meet Glenys as she passed the year before I traveled to China. These flowers (not this plant specifically) I believe originated in China. Personally I feel it is fitting that this plant blooms around Glenys' birthday.

Toe Polish

The generous friend who gave Glenys the tiara gave her the toe polish. She was sooo excited.

Chinese Princesses

My Chinese Princess

This is one of our friend's daddy. He is always a really good sport. He, his wife and daughter are LID for mei mei. Yea!!

Birthday celebrations begin

Last night we headed out to the pizza cafe to meet our newest from China arrival. There were 7 Chinese adoptees, one friend and one big sis and all the accompanying adults. We cordoned off a section and stayed within that section until time to leave. I think the wait staff was ready to see us go. All the girls did really well socially except mine. She was so jealous that I spoke to other kids and that I (gasp) took their pictures. I will post when I get it downloaded.

Anyway, Glenys received her first bday gift. And the gift giver didn't leave the other girls out. They all got tiaras (sp?). Glenys' head is too big to wear hers though. Plus Glenys receive the bonus of toe polish(no we don't have fingernail polish yet) of blue and pink and "lickets", three colors of lip gloss that can be worn like a watch to keep it with you and stay lickets fresh all day.

So last night after bed, Glenys had me paint her toes blue and had me paint my toes pink. Then we both had to wear sandals to shoe off the toe polish. Today is her school birthday party. Cupcakes, Juice, and balloons for everyone, YEA!!!

Tomorrow is another day of cupcakes with our Chinese sisters and a few others at the zoo. We are having a zoo day not a birthday party but a zoo day with our friends. Next year I will check on the whole birthday party at the zoo thing.

Sunday is the official 3 year old day and we are having lunch with the parents when all the gifts are bestowed. I may decide to give her my bday gift tomorrow for the zoo. She will want to take her own pics.

So let the festivities begin!!!!

Friday Family Foto Fun Challenge

Toddler Art: Presenting Glenys' Creative side

Glenys' playdoh boot.

Glenys' painted buddah.

Glenys' dragon.
Glenys painting her hand for a hand "fwrint".

The aftermath of a painting session.

To see all entries go to Donna's Blog at

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dad update-

So my dad's surgery is scheduled for May 1st the day before his birthday. As he said, "Happy birthday to me." I have already asked off work to sit with my mom and run errands for her or interference if needed.

My dad has always fixed breakfast in the morning since my parents were married. The only exceptions have been during times of travel when others did it and when I have had surgery. When I have been forced not to eat breakfast, my dad would do the same for me and not eat right along with me. So I guess that day I will sacrifice breakfast for him in unity with his impending surgery. Our breakfasts have a long history. During high school, I ate breakfast with my dad every day for 4 years. So call it a connection between a dad and his daughter.

A good night's sleep, talking with other BTDTs and some reassuring e-mails (thanks blogging-nurse friends); I feel better about my dad and the fact that he will be okay at least for this. There is no guarantee obviously for anyone so I will go with what I know.

I must say though the week just gets worse though. Yesterday I found out that two of the children in Glenys' class are moving out of state. These are the only girls approved by me, Mom, to be her best friends forever. Now they are moving. Why couldn't the trouble making girls moving, hmmmm? Other than kidnapping the girls I can't do anything to stop them. Unbelievable, don't they know they can't move for Glenys' sake? Don't these mom's think of anyone other than themselves? I wonder if they would commute.

OOOOOHHHHH MY, life is certainly getting interesting.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How scary, this is right.

You Should Paint Your Room Blue

Peaceful and soothing, blue rooms have been known to reduce blood pressure.
Your blue room will encourage deep rest and great sleep.
A blue room is the perfect oasis for a stressful life.

My room is painted blue and this is the third blue bedroom I have had in my lifetime. The first being when I was 13.

Weepy Wednesday

It is never fun to face your parents mortality. When doing so you must face your own. Although the death rate is one in one, we on this earth feel that if no bad illness or accident comes we should be able to live forever. Americans have recently become focused on the quality of life as determined sometimes by the courts or at least other people who may or may not know who we are as a person.

My dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Lots of men are, especially in the later years. So then why am I worried. My dad is a very private person and doesn't show weakness, especially if he can't fix the problem. His doctor said the severity of his cancer on a scale* of 1 to 10 is a 6, somewhere in the middle. His doctor wants to do surgery but has given other options. He obviously has no guarantees, none of us really do.

Last night at supper, I was trying to cage the seriousness of this and I asked him, "So then you will be here for Glenys' 21st birthday to take her to the zoo and ride the merry-go-round." (family joke) Like he said, "That was never a guarantee." But there never was a threat before, just the threat of old age.

In reality I know prostate cancer isn't really anything that can't be cured, right? My mom doesn't want him to have surgery because of the months of recovery and the necessity of having a catheter and wearing diapers. I think that is the only reason she doesn't. Seeing my father required to wear diapers makes him more vulnerable than I have ever seen him. Maybe that is what my morning tears are about. My dad isn't invincible and in my 30+ years I have failed to realize that. I think I could handle a diagnosis of cancer if it was me or even my mom but not my dad.

We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future. He is a believer in Jesus as in his eternal life is secure. This world holds us in despair and hopelessness without Christ. Death was never meant to be actually but sin brought death. Not any one person's specific sin just the "I'll do things my own way" sin of human nature the falling short of God's perfection.

Lots of things can happen with any of the options. I am just not ready to have to deal with this because I can't look into the future without my parents. I want them to get old old. I want them to see Glenys grow up. Hell, I want them to see me grow up. I don't want to explain death of her only grandparents to Glenys. Call me selfish or unrealistic that is fine. I just wish we didn't have to deal with this!!

*Updated to add his Gleeson (sp?) score is 6 and apparently jumped quickly from 3.5 to 6, thus the urgency in having surgery.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Ideal Vacation

You Should Spend Your Summer in the Mountains

You're quiet, introspective, and a great thinker.
You need a summer vacation that gets you away from the crowds and the heat.
So retreat to the mountains, where you can clear your head.

How true how true!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Saturday afternoon naps and Monday morning shcool

This is Glenys napping after the big birthday party of a friend on Sat. This is my bed of course because she doesn't even nap in her own bed. She had fallen asleep in the car in her shoes and jacket and yes I put her in bed with it all on. And yes Simon our cat decided he needed to cuddle up with Glenys and all of her care bears.

Then this is Glenys this morning brushing her teeth for school. She picked the t-shirt and shoes. Why, yes, she is wearing one pink one and one blue one. She also has salmon colored socks on that match the flowers in her pants. I don't normally fight her on dress unless it is cold outside. Why make us all miserable with dressing in the morning? Just makes for a bad beginning of the day.

being killed by horseys, almost

Okay so Saturday, the birthday bash was at a public park near a horse show arena. The city decided last week to tear up the parking lot and access to the park and with the rain, the party was moved into a small room normally used during a horse show for concessions. Also, the torn up parking area restricted access to the new party location so that all party goers had to use the horse show arena access. Well, horse show participants used the access and subsequent grassy areas to feed the horses before the show. As we walked back from a party kiddy train ride, and were directly behind the horse about 6 feet away the horse, the horse was spooked by some kids yelling and the train bell (I think). All I know is as I held Glenys in my right arm, dodging horse poo, another single mom and her daughter were beside us, she says, "watch out."

I look up in time to see the rear of the horse literally an inch or so from me. The slow motion effect of that with the accompanying realization that we were about to be trampled and my totally inability at that moment to protect us is very difficult to comprehend or explain. As the rider attempted to get the horse under control I turned around in time to see the horse literally fling the rider through the air as she hung on to the reigns. I imagine the rider was shaken up too. My single adoptive mom friend actually cried. I just went pale and thankfully, Glenys didn't sense or at least I don't think she did the seriousness of the situation. I told her about it and I was nauseated. Glenys still asks about the horsey and where is the horsey and did that mommy take that horsey home?

I don't much care for horses anyway. I like watching them from afar. So one more thing I will put the fear of horses in Glenys as I don't wish her to be a rider anyway!!

Now I really hate ebay

So I purchased a camera via the buy now method. I was still bidding on 3. I just knew I would be out bid so I didn't consider not purchasing the camera. Well, apparently no one bids on Ebay on Friday night. I watched with anxious breath the bidding and now I am the proud owner of 2 pink fisher price tough kid cameras. The pink is the problem. I have a nephew and had I won the blue one I would not be in such a bind. I could conceivably sell the blue one to my mom to send to my nephew for Christmas or b-day in August. Pink is not a boy color though. I am terribly afraid I would offend my brother and sisnlaw with a pink camera. My nephew wouldn't care probably but I don't want any implications.

Why can't the durn cameras just be a neutral color like yellow or green or blue or red? Why pink? Glenys saw a blue one and said, "that is a boy's camera." She is only about to be 3 and already she has assigned color to gender.

I am selling the second one for which I paid over $10 less than the purchase now one for the price of $50 and that includes the shipping. That will recoup my losses if anyone is interested. I did e-mail the seller and tried to explain why I didn't need the pink one. I asked and begged via e-mail for him to send me a blue one. We will see if I receive two pink cameras or one pink and one blue. If I get two pinks, my offer stands. If I get a blue and pink, my nephew will get a camera for his birthday from his very cool aunt and grandparents (together).


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday outing and birthday parties

Glenys is trying to catch a bubble. She didn't participate in anything at the party. There were several games that she could have had fun with had she been not so cling-on-ish. I suspect she is not feeling well and even now she is whiny and cling-on-ish. We will take her temp in a minute. The next pic is of her and her buddy drinking lemonade at the restaurant where we ate lunch.

I will in a later post explain how we were almost run over by a spooked horse but Glenys is crying now. Time for the awaited meltdown.

hair bows

Glenys picked the bows for the day.

Friday, April 13, 2007

ffff challenge - PETS

We have a dog and a cat. Glenys likes to get into the dog kennel. Here she is being sweet to our cat Simon.

here is the link to the friday family fun foto challenge:

Effin e bay

Okay so I cannot be in bidding wars. I don't like the feeling. I lost the camera in the very last minute, no kidding, the last minute and still my final losing bid was more than I wanted to pay. So eff it I purchased a camera via the buy it now method and paid $1 less than the list price at wally world. I am okay with that because I just don't enjoy the rush. My heart is still beating from the last bidding loss. That was about an hour ago.

In China I paid full price for everything because a) it was still not a lot compared to the US of A and b) I hate bidding wars. So one vendor came down from his own price when we didn't bid back. I guess he felt sorry for us. There was nothing I bought (except the stroller at the WS) that I paid too much for. And I did that on the next to last day because one of the side shops said everyone was out of strollers. I guess they were out and didn't want me to go to another expecting me to come back. I will say I love the stroller and so does Glenys especially for zoo days.

See this is one reason I don't gamble or do drugs or shop lift. I can't stand the rush people get from those actions. It is not fun for me!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Other things

Well we have managed to escape a major melt down yet again. This did require us going to be at 10:30 pm though as we were very busy doing things to keep the melt down from occurring. Of course I told her I would pick her up early today but I am not sure if she remembers it and I don't really want to. She can come hang out here for an hour. She likes school okay until about Thursday and then it is a struggle to get her to go. I guess I better go get her. Thankfully, my work doesn't mind. I won't make it a habit as I get very little done with her here.

Glenys is now tall enough with the help of a stool to turn the water on and off in her bathroom. The cabinets are waist high to me, much taller than the standard bathroom sink cabinets so this is a pretty big accomplishment. Basically this tells me that although she can wear 18 month in the waist, 3T will be the order for the length. I am going to have a great time buying clothes for the next few years!!

I am currently bidding on a Fisher Price digital camera for Glenys on E*BAY. Wish me luck. I need it and am totally nervous. I am bidding on two of them and am the high bidder so far. If I get them both I will send one to my nephew in CA for his birthday in August. I am just that wonderful of an aunt. Those suckers are expensive. Unless the sellers purchased them at a significant discount they will not make their money back from what I am seeing on e*bay.

On other family news, finally, after a three year separation a divorce agreement was reached and has been granted in the marriage dissolution between my sister and her alcoholic FBI husband. Apparently, if the kids choose, they don't have to have anything to do with him until they are 18. She can refinance and keep the house and gets all of the current equity in said house. He must pay alimony and child support. And it is all bittersweet and totally devastating to the kids. He now is free to marry his girlfriend of 2 1/2 years to be a step dad to her two kids. What a happy little family they will be. He also brought this on all "on he own self" (in the words of my toddler). I am thrilled for her, sad for the kids and totally disappointed in him and the whole FBI agency. (I have other examples of agents to give me pause for trusting any of them.)

A bit disappointed

I received in the mail from Reaserch-China the finding ad for Glenys. I had my hopes up that it would be a color photo from the paper. You know like a copy of the original photo used in the paper not a photo of the ad itself. Then I got the newspaper that had the original finding ad and then maybe the back page of that same paper? Also, a translated copy of the actual finding ad.

It is nice to have but for $80 I am not so sure. I received a photo copy of the finding ad in China and could have had it translated there. I wrongly assumed he had connections or the ability to ask the newspaper archives for the actual copy of the photo which would have been in color. I will say the actual ad is very tiny in the bottom corner of the inside front cover of the paper, Guangxi Daily.

So warning if you plan on getting this, the photo MAY only be a photo of the actual printed ad. Honestly, having the paper is nice as is having the translation. The other, not so much.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

G will be turning 3 soon

I have about a week and a half left of G being 2 years old. We have come to an consensus on what she wants for her party. We are doing the main party at her school on Friday with cupcakes and balloons. She wants a blue cupcake and everyone else gets sprinkles. She will get sprinkles too though. Then on Saturday or Sunday afternoon we will have one of our friends over to play and have a family cake. If this is play thing is on Saturday then Sunday we will go to dinner maybe with my parents at a Chinese buffet and I will get the staff to sing Happy Birthday to her in Chinese. She would like that.

In other news, G woke up singing again today. This time it was a song they sing in school:
"good morning G, howdodeedo.
I'm glad to see you, howdodeedo."
I think it is supposed to be "how do you do." But in a two year old's mind it doesn't sound the same. But as someone said, "If she wakes up singing, does it matter that the words are wrong?"

Lets see, we also haven't had a big bad melt down in about 2 days. So I am thinking we are due for one. I made the mistake Monday of taking her to Wally world after school. I say mistake because she has never before realized that the things in the store are for buying for her. She believes that now, and there were very few things that she saw that I shouldn't buy her. This did almost cause a melt down. We did come away with a few DVDs as my VHS is going on the blink we needed some kid things to watch. Granted I am withholding some for prizes, her birthday, referral day and gotcha/family day.

Oh in G's Easter Basket I gave her her very own blue sponge for the bath. I have an orange one that she has been using so now she has her own. Well the last two nights have been interesting because if my orange sponge has more soap bubbles she wants to "switch-fwop". (Yes we do still shower together too only because I won't get a bath if we don't. She takes too long in her bath tub on her own and then there is not enough hot water or time for me. Plus in the morning we seem to be so rushed. How in the helk does it take me 10 mins to walk out the door and get loaded in the car every morning?)

Anyway, I love to hear her say, "switch-fwop." She cracks me up. She also says "ls" like "ys". It is "bayoon" not balloon. It is "yet's" for let's. It is "yove" not love. Oh and the "ys" never come like in "ard" for yard. "Cl" and "Gl" gets her too. It is "Tementine" instead of Clementine (our dog) and "dennis" instead of G. She tries to spell her name and sometimes she adds a few numbers in for fun. Mostly she gets an "X" and a "T" in it. It is very funny to hear.

As soon as I figure out how to post videos I will do so. It isn't really even the posting of the videos as much as the getting them from my camera to my computer to do so. I was never good at reading instructions.

Today her purple bear went to school with her to take a nap. Monday it seems one of her bears kept her awake by talking to her. Every morning I ask her who she is taking to school. She will tell me and say, "Do I already take dis one?" Maybe today she will actually nap and not be kept awake. She is pretty good about it. When I dropped her off this morning I told her who her best friends were. I think I need to reinforce her friends being the sweetest girls so she will stop hanging out with the one I don't care for. We will see how much influence I truly have.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Okay, motherhood brings out the the best, the worst and the most neurotic in me. For example, when living alone in my home I left doors open all the time. Every room had a door but I never shut it when I was in the room. Now that G is able to shut doors, she sometimes follows me in a room and closes the door. That act of which I never had to think about, causes me such difficult feelings. It absolutely drives me up the wall. I am not even sure why. I don't even know if I could explain it.

The other thing is that (and I had a clue about this) when my things are touched or moved or messed with, I become angry. When I am sitting at my desk and G gets in my lap she tends to want to pick things up on my desk or push things off and around. It absolutely drives me nuts. I did have a clue about this when an ex-boyfriend would come visit; I would instantly put things back as soon as he moved them.

Another thing, photos: I think I have blogged about this before but I dislike having my photos out of order. I also do not like help putting photos into albums. G likes to help, but I do not like the help.

The thing is I know it isn't her. It is totally me and my issues that cause me consternation when she does something like close the door. When we read a book, it drives me nuts for her not to let me get through reading the page before the questions start. I don't like talking about the pictures. I like reading the story. And for the love of all that is good with books, please pay attention to the story if you want me to read the book.

Some of this stuff didn't come out until G came home. I knew about the photos and about my things but not about the closed door or the reading of a story. One more thing is the slowness with which she does things especially if she refuses my help. Now when she tries to refuse my help I will say, "G, one day you will be too big for mommy to help you do "X". Mommy really wants to help you until you are too big for me to." Usually then she relents to let me. Mostly it comes with putting clothing on and off but sometimes it is other things I try to help her with.

There are things that frustrate me as a parent and that is all it is frustrations. But these things are totally OCD neurosis I think. I mean these things wouldn't normally affect the average "josephine mom" like they do me. So know that I realize it; I now step back and re-evaluate my reaction to diffuse whatever it is going on at the moment. Of course with the closed door, I have to open it and then ask G not to do that again.

What has parenting brought out in you that has been a total surprise?

Monday, April 09, 2007

At little more of G

This is me and on Sunday morning. I figured out how to use the timer on the ole camera. I will get it more perfected. The big problem too is G is saying "cheese" too early. She is my precious bedecious.

G loves candy. Here she is eating her tootsie rolls from her egg hunt. She will eat candy as long as it is not hard candy. She had an accidental choking experience on a hard candy that scared me and her. She is leery of the hard stuff now.

G has always had a mechanism in place to handle stressful or loud situations. She goes to sleep. When we met in China, I made her spend an afternoon with me without grandad and grammie. All we did was sleep. She would wake up and see me then lay her head down and sleep. I know she thought I would be gone when she opened her eyes so she just kept shutting them to see.

She also did that the last baseball game of the year last year when the fireworks were going off. When she did that Sunday I had to think about why she was asleep, it occurred to me again that loud noises make her sleep. She just becomes extremely overwhelmed and shuts down. My mom's church is sometimes very loud and although the choir and band tries, sometimes there is a discordant sound coming in place of true music. So this shut G down Sunday morning.

I try to keep her pretty even keeled and she doesn't do this at my church but for as large as our church is the music is not loud or overbearing. Just one more reason to make the trek every Sunday into town to go to our beloved church.


My grandad is the greatest. He lets me drag him around his house and plays playhouse with me. He lets me climb on his knees and jump on his tummy. He feeds me peanuts and whatever I want. He comes to my defense against my mommy even if I am wrong. He colors with me and plays puzzles with me even when I hide the pieces. He laughs at my silly antics and loves me no matter what. He is my best buddy. He watches Barney the king with me over and over and over again no matter what else might be on. He fixes me breakfast on Saturday mornings. He picks me up from school and takes me to the grocery store. He doesn't even mind if I make him take me to the grocery store bathroom, like I always do. He buys me whatever looks like it might be good even if I don't end up eating it. He reads to me and helps me ride my bicycle all over the yard. I love him the best.

FFFF Challenge

  • doublehappiness
  • Friday Family Fun Foto Challenge this time is Spring Dresses. Here are Glenys in 2006 Easter and 2007 Easter. She is growing too fast.

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    Easter Sunday

    Cheese with her new care bears: Harmony and Funshine. Mommy gave her these in her Easter basket. I don't want her to believe in an Easter bunny since Easter is about ressurection. It is different for Christmas as Christmas is about gift giving. Okay so it is another topic altogether.

    We went to church with my parents for Easter. Glenys wore her new dress and shoes. She promptly fell asleep on Grandad and slept through the service. Then we all went to eat at a steakhouse and she ate salad and hamburger and fries. Then we went and hunted eggs at Grammie and Grandad's house. She had her Grammie carry her basket for her. It was cold so we dressed rather warmly. Then we sat outside on the patio while she rode her wheeler. We had coffee and finished the peanuts from the steakhouse. Then we all took a nap. It was a very nice Sunday afternoon.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    The Zoo and our new friend

    Enjoy the photos:

    My new Best Friend Boy!
    So we made it to the zoo today with half the city despite the temps being in the high 40s. We met a co-worker and her son there around 10:30 and left when the kids were ready to revolt out of hunger around 1pm. Both kids had a good time and got along very well together.

    Glenys even asked where her "best friend boy" was when we left. He on the other hand has declared the "bride price" of a tricycle, a race car track, 10 care bears and several of his hot wheels which he is buying her for Christmas. I told his mom we might as well write the contract out as he was proposing to her already. Both kids were very well behaved for a "first date".

    We actually saw quite a bit of the zoo. We even went to the reptile house. Not my favorite place to go. Glenys even liked the turtles there. We saw the sea lion show for the umpteenth time. The polar bears were rather lazy when we got there. The monkeys had all been fed and were eating. One panda was out cold and the other was lazily munching on bamboo. The otters and monkeys were fighting over a plastic cup. The penguins were hanging out in the clefts of rock island. The baby giraffe was out front and center posing for all the visitors. The pink flamingos were all waiting anxiously for food so we saw them up close and personal.

    Glenys is currently in my lap completing her nap that started at 3pm in the car. This is difficult to type single handed.

    After the zoo we headed to lunch at my favorite place. Glenys had edamame and showed off her talent with chopsticks. She does really well. Then we all went to the coffee shop to hang out for a minute and complete our coffee. Needless to say we have had a smashing day.

    And to top all that off so well, Glenys stayed dry at the zoo and through eating and both car trips over and home again. She didn't even wear a pull up at the zoo. She did ask to put one on at the coffee shop and almost pulled her pants down in the general public to do so. She explained that she needed it in case she fell asleep going home. Her idea not mine.
    Apparently Spring has sprung right back to winter because we have a freeze warning for tonight. Not happy about turning the heat back on. I hoped to be done with that.

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Easter Party

    Picking the eggs up but still not sure why. She was shocked that candy was in there. Shocked but very very glad!!
    Eating the cookies, cupcake and candies, now that truly makes a party.

    Glenys' class had their Easter party complete with an egg hunt. That is really fun since toddlers are really not go getter types. This year at least I only had to explain one time what she was supposed to do. All of the kids in her class brought a dozen eggs so each child was supposed to leave with a dozen eggs. I had her pick up a couple to give to a younger child in her class.

    It was and is still cold today. Apparently it will be cold and possibly snowy on Easter morn. We did get the jumper out when we got home. I still have to go finish putting it up. Yucky. It is most difficult to do by myself. I had initially thought I would leave it up but it is supposed to be colder tomorrow and rain so I just won't do that.

    Enjoy the photos. Tomorrow cold or not we are going to the zoo. Time to check on the polar bears, pandas and elephants. Also there is a baby giraffe now. We are renewed and ready to go.

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Best gift possible

    I just received in the mail the best gift I could have. I participated in a language study through the Snedeker lab in Harvard. Well I guess G and I did. I just received all of the tapes from that study. Each month I recorded between 40 mins and 1 hour of play with G. The lab sent a box of toys and G played with those specifically. I completed a questionnaire about milestones, her words used and longest sentences etc.

    She has over 700 words or so in her vocabulary that she uses and/or understands the meaning to but may not use every day. I started the study after being home 6 months and she had less than 100 words; so in 12 months she gained over 600 words. Pretty good huh? The last few months of the study we only played with playdoh because it took the whole time of the recording and I could focus the camera in on her in a stationary position. G actually ended up enjoying being recorded; getting excited about it and everything.

    While at lunch I received the box of tapes. I asked them for all of the tapings not just highlights; so there are two recordings per tape. Along with that they sent G a stuffed moose and a T-shirt with "Little Scientist Harvard" on it. A T-shirt, she will be so thrilled. This rounds out our T-shirt number to an even 5 one for each school day, YIPPEE. My goal was reached. Now I need to worry about the pants to go with them.

    I watched the first taping and I forgot first how small she was. I also forgot how she played with playdoh and how well she communicated without words!! She was such a doll. She still is but the roundness of her head and the way her hair was so short, she literally looked like a doll. It will be fun to watch these with grammie, grandad and G. Maybe this will be how we spend her birthday, watching her grow up from tape to tape.

    The study is on going and I will post a link to the side as soon as I remember to do so. I don't have the link with me right now. It is basically studying how IAs learn language. So far it is confirmed that IAs learn language the same way native speakers do like maybe verbs first or something like This is the e-mail if anyone is interested.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007


    Not much to say today except that when I woke up this morning I was depressed to realize it was only Tuesday. Incredible how one night's sleep however badly it goes feels like a long time has passed. I was just sure today was Thursday. Oh well.

    We are off work for Good Friday. I think I will renew the zoo membership and take Glenys there. It is worth it even if I have to do so on credit which is how I am doing a lot of things right now. Enjoy now, pay later. Apparently this is my new life motto.

    Glenys woke up crying today. She fought her demons all night again. The Easter Story is difficult for toddlers. Actually not the whole thing but when Jesus dies part. Glenys asked me if God did it. She always wants to know who "do it". So I told her that yes in a sense God did do it. Then she asked where Jesus lives and I told her heaven. Then she said, "I want to go see Him." I said that we would when we died. She is not ready to die though. I told her that it would be a long time from now and that she would be older than Grammie and Grandad. Needless to say I think that conversation lent itself to giving her not so pleasant dreams.

    Sunday afternoon she woke herself up singing the alphabet song. She was on letter "g" when she woke up. She finished the song then looked at me to see if I was awake. I pretended not to be but it didn't work. Glenys is funny when she is sleeping. She asks questions and claims things. I can answer her and if it is the wrong answer she cries. If I give her the right answer she goes back to sound sleeping. She never wakes up fully anytime during the exchange and doesn't remember a thing in the morning.

    This morning when I dropped her off at school she told me she would color me a pretty picture. Last night we spent the evening after supper, coloring. She picked the crayons and gave me the one she wanted me to have. I got the broken ones and the shorter ones than what she had. Then she would want to "switch-fwop" and take my color or page. Her coloring is interesting. She doesn't stay in the lines but she does stay together. I will have to post a photo of her work. She also colors vibrant colors. I color lightly and she get the full color out of her crayons. So I can't wait to pick her up and see what she colored for me.

    Have I said lately how much fun she is. Well, she is. She was quite grumpy before bed though. She was so tired. So was/am I. Grammie and Grandad are coming home tonight. Hopefully they will be rested enough to see her tomorrow night. Otherwise it will be Friday or Saturday. I don't think any of them could stand that!!

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Monday morning and Weekend Recap

    Glenys is so ready for her Grandad and Grammie to come home. She has no concept of them flying to CA to see Austin, her cousin. She woke up this morning saying she wanted her "dandad". I told her he was in CA and she said for me to call him. Well that was way to early to call CA. Thankfully I have but two more days until she can see Grammie and Grandad. They will be able to see her Wednesday afternoon at the earliest. If by chance we get up early enough we can stop by Grammie's office on the way to school.

    Sunday after church, lunch, coffee shop visit and nap we went to the park to play on the slide. At church we celebrated Palm Sunday and she got to take one of the palm branches with her. She does pretty well at church but we never stay for the whole service. I try to stay until all the points are made then we skedaddle. She even did really well with the palm branch except once when she brushed it against the lady's hair in front of us. OOPS! Thankfully, said lady wasn't upset with us.

    I have some great photos of my girl sliding off some of the tallest slides of the playground. She even rode her bicycle all the way there and back. I pushed her along the busy streets and across the streets but that was for safety sake alone. Otherwise she did it all herself. Then we came home and had to visit our neighbor, Mr. Butch, because we weren't really ready to come home.

    She has a routine when we go to Mr. Butch's. She goes in, gets the toys, goes to the bathroom (he has a cool fish toilet seat), weighs in on the scale (still a whopping 28 lbs.), explores the house, and plays with the basket ball. He has lived next to my grandmother since I was in kindergarten. He has a son and daughter (both younger than me) and is now divorced, retired and living for his grandchildren of which he has 3.

    We then came home, fixed supper, watched a bit of Dumbo, which she liked "bery much", and did our nighttime routine to bed. All in all we have had a pretty excellent weekend; although, I was ready to go to work and send her to school today. We are having our too much togetherness time.