Sunday, December 31, 2006
In 2006 many of my FCC friends have been united with their own little blessings. I have been overjoyed to see new children come home & change the lives of their Forever Families. In 2007, I hope to see more families united. There is nothing quite as special as holding our children the first time & introducing them to family & friends.
In 2006, I picked up some new hobbies - blogging & scrapbooking. While I am by no means anywhere close to an expert in either hobby, I'm having a total blast. I don't get a chance to really scrap at home, but when I do, it's nice that Erin likes to sit with me & make her own creations. Her teachers warned me that Erin likes craft time at school, & it's the same at home.
David & I have decided to finally do something about our long-term love of trains. In 2007, we are building an N-scale train layout. As usual, David is doing the technical & manual labor. I'm going to have a blast picking out all of the buildings for the layout. Erin is even into this hobby with her own train setup.
I don't believe in making resolutions. As a teenager & young adult I always made resolutions for the following year. The adult in me finally realized that each time I made a resolution, I was disappointed when I didn't follow through on the commitment. Now I just think about the things I would like to accomplish but don't get crazy when things don't go the way I had planned.
So. Out with 2006 & in with 2007. Bring it on! I can handle it.
Wishing you all a very happy & healthy 2007!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
When Erin was getting into David's truck, she showed him her hands & said "Daddy, these are my hantelech (little hands in Yiddish). David then taught her to say feeselech (little feet). She pronounced both words perfectly. Then she pointed & showed David her "tuches."
Go ahead & laugh, but these are the little things in life that we all smile with pride about. Besides, how could you not laugh? I did!
Monday, December 25, 2006
Erin loves Chanukah!! Yes, as you can see, she has a blast getting presents. However, my darling daughter also looks forward to saying the blessings each night & saying "Happy Chanukah Momma & Daddy!" David & I are filled with such pride in Erin. This is the 1st year that Erin was able to chant each of the blessings right along with us.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Erin was really excited to be going here because she loves butterflies. However, when we walked through the doorway to the exihibit, she froze. All of these butterflies just come flying over, & it really alarmed her. We've been working on teaching Erin to not be afraid of new experiences. It took a while, but the beauty of Butterfly World won.
Erin had a wonderful time just taking in all of the sights. Her favorite part of the day was going back & forth on the suspension bridge. The first time she went over it, it was as if her troubles were tossed into the pond below. She was smiles & sunshine the rest of the day.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
That's not really a surprise in my house. David & I are into trains also. In fact, I have my own train set - the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies. I've been trying to convince David that we don't need our dining room table anymore. No, I don't want to get rid of it. I'd like to turn it into my own train setup! I'm getting there. He's almost convinced.
My friend Lisa C found a train table for $20 at a garage sale a few weeks ago. Knowing how nuts we are, she picked it up for us & had her hubby bring it over for Erin. Tonight I surprised by taking it in & helping her set up her trains. She had so much fun playing tonight.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Thanksgiving was wonderful this year. Rather than go out for our usual breakfast & rush home to take care of our part in the family dinner, we made some changes. We stayed home & had a wonderfully lazy breakfast. Erin has had an amazing appetite recently & ate an entire half a bagel with cream cheese & lox. After breakfast, Erin & I started our preparations by making a sweet potato casserole. Usually my family insists upon me making my grandmother's sweet potatoes, but I told them that was too labor intensive since I always go home with too many leftovers. When the casserole was done, Erin & I baked dessert - 2 apple pies. David always helps out with the crust, & I do everything else. This year we all tried to deal with the crust but ended up throwing out 3 batches of pie crust & using a store bought shell. I was so disappointed since I've always made my own crust.
We went over to my cousins' house for dinner later that day. Erin got to play with her cousins Fallon & Joshua all afternoon. David & I got to visit & chat with my aunt & uncle & my cousins. It was a nice day. When we got home, Erin passed out & slept all night long. Life is good.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I found this on a link from my friend Sandra's blog. Since both of my names are spelled wrong according to almost everyone I have known over my life, I thought I'd check it out. It's pretty interesting. Go on. I know you're wondering about your name too. Check it out!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
What do you do when your 4 year old daughter comes home sick from school on a Monday & is still sick on Saturday?
Hope & pray that Sunday she's feeling better. Because if she isn't, you're going to go nuts. Why you say? Well, my normally well-behaved, sweet-natured girl has turned into whiny girl.
Uh oh! I guess I'm starting to get whiny myself! Erin is usually so well-behaved that it can be scary. David & I expect, & usually receive, a high level of manners & good behavior. My MIL tells me that I'm like a drill sargeant. This past week Erin has turned into a normal little girl who is sick - whiny, crying all the time, screaming, you name it & she's done it. Tonight she even tried to throw her blanket at me. That earned her a nice talking to.
I was supposed to take her to a Craft Day tomorrow with my mother's group. Unfortunately, I can't see taking her with me since she's been tiring so easily. I guess she'll just use tomorrow as a rest day since she has to be in school on Monday.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Erin & I went to my friend Debbie's house this past Saturday night for a Halloween party. I had brought over things for the children to do a few crafts projects. Erin is very recently getting into doing crafts - coloring, play dough, painting, etc. I bought all kinds of Halloween foam stickers so the children could make door hangers & placemats. Erin really had a blast all dressed up in her red witch costume.
Happy Halloween?? I'm not really sure we can that this year. Yesterday Erin was sent home from school with a temp of 102.7. Although we got her fever down during the evening, it shot up again overnight. She & I stayed home today so we could visit her favorite doctor - Dr. Liang. According to Erin, Dr. Liang looks like "W" a character on the show Good Eats. The good doctor & her staff were dressed to the nines today in celebration of Halloween. It was a great office visit even though we're still not 100% sure why she's sick. Oh well, she's got a few days off from school with mommy paying full attention to her girl.
Hope everyone out there had a great time today/tonight!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Erin has been doing really well lately. With Halloween coming up in the next week, we've been dealing with her utter fear of anything large &/or scary. She loves the idea of dressing up & decorating pumpkins & the house but is terrified of things like witches, ghosts, goblins, monsters, witches, etc. For someone like me who loves Halloween, this is pretty hard. I have an amazing Halloween village at work & things for the outside of our house that I can't put up. In fact, just this evening, David told me he was surprised that I haven't bought any of the inflatibles that are out for sale. Now how do I go out & buy myself that huge "snow globe" with bats & goblins without terrifying my child? You know, the child who loves to be hung upside down or go twirling around & around.
My friend Debbie is having a Halloween party this coming Saturday for a few of the children that we know. Erin is getting dressed up as a red witch. I just can't get over how cute she looks in her costume. Debbie's going all out for this party - bobbing for apples, goodies, costumes, decorations, etc. I'm bringing a craft for the children to do that night also. I think I'm more excited than Erin is!
Hopefully my computer & my camera will stop arguing so I can post some pictures from that night!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Hair & the lack of ability to style it has been a big topic for the people in my travel group. Amazingly enough, after being home for 3 years, we're still a fairly tight-knit group. This week's topic has been the girls' hair & our abilities (or lack thereof) to style it. Erin's hair has gotten pretty long & the color is so pretty. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to do anything with it. The most I can do is a messy pony tail, but thankfully, Erin likes her hair this way. Of course, she's just happy to have me try anything.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Yummy!!! The week before Rosh HaShanah I had an amazing opportunity to join Erin's pre-K class for a morning of baking honey cake. Of course, as most people know, honey cake is pretty, well, gross. On the other hand, when I told Erin that I'd be coming in to her class to help bake honey cake, she just lit up.
That morning I asked Erin if she wanted to wear her baking dress to school since we would be baking. She said yes so I put it on & realized that we won't have too many more opportunities for her to wear it while we bake. She's actually grown into it!
I was there with 2 other mothers & we had a nice time watching the children & helping with the baking. My girl had the biggest smile on her face the entire time we were baking. After we finished & I left work, I have to admit that I had a pretty big grin on my face myself.
That night Erin joined us in eating her yummy honey cake for dessert after dinner. I will never again look at honey cake the same way. She was so proud of herself! (Of course I was pretty proud of her myself.)
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Last weekend David & I finally decided to have Erin's 4 year picture taken. We took her to this place that everyone is wild about (Sadie's). The kid, & I do mean kid, just didn't know how to capture Erin's "essence." David & I aren't totally satisfied with the pictures but bought them anyway. I had the pictures taken in 3 different outfits. Hey! They gave me an hour. I couldn't see shooting tons of pics in just 1 outfit. My friend Michelle has this company called Madi Adi where she makes the cutest outfits. Erin wanted to wear that outfit for the day, & boy am I glad she put her foot down because those are the pics I love the best. 1 of the other outfits she wore is a dress patterned with Chinese lanterns. I bought this dress from someone I'm friendly with in my local FCC group - Jolene. I'm totally in love with this dress, & Erin looks wonderful in it to boot. Too bad the photographer didn't know how to set up a shot. He was ready to snap pics with Erin's hair in her eyes. Duh!
Hopefully David will be able to figure out what's happening with my camera &/or computer so I can upload some more pics.
Atfer having her pics taken, Erin had her friend Kerri's birthday party to attend. We spent a great afternoon partying with Kerri & some of Kerri's other friends. Erin did not want to leave! She had so much fun she couldn't wait to tell her daddy.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
As of this evening, Erin has started to quote Miss Ethel - her pre-K teacher. Mind you this isn't really a bad thing. Erin adores Miss Ethel & is learning so much each day. Last night while waiting for David to cook dinner, Erin rocked on her horse singing "Hinei Ma Tov" a Hebrew song about friendship. Tonight at dinner, she informed us that Rabbi says "Shabbat Shalom" (the traditional Sabbath greeting) on Fridays.
Tonight before going "nai nai" (Erin speak for bedtime) she needed to go to the potty. She always leaves the door open so she can see me. Of course, it's always a thrill to see your kid go pee & poop. She told me she needed to close the door which upset me as I thought she was playing around. I told her to leave the door open. Her response? "Miss Ethel says I need privacy for potty time." AAAGGGGHHHHH!!! When did Miss Ethel become the person she quotes??? That's supposed to be either David or myself for at least the next 90 years. Right?
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Monday, September 04, 2006
I worked Saturday morning which I know set Erin off. Although she loves having Erin & Daddy days, my going in on Saturdays really throws her off kilter. Not to mention that I had a horrible day at the bank. When I got home, it was so great to have Erin run up to me with "huggies & kissies" as if she hadn't seen me in weeks. Her smile just blows me away.
I was lucky enough to have some adult time that night with a few of my girlfriends. I have recently gotten into scrapbooking & actually done quite a bit. I got to LL's house around 7:00 - just in time for LL, Mich & I to sit down & chitchat. After Lis got there, we decided to order dinner thinking pizza would arrive quickly. Mich & I ended up going to pick it up because a 2 hour wait wasn't acceptable to any of us! Once we got back to LL's, we ate & then sat down to some serious scrapping. I popped out 2 little books - 1 for each of our pets (Star & Kira). I felt as if I had really accomplished quite a bit. We had so much fun that I got home at 3:00 am!
Sunday we went down to the synagogue where I teach 1st grade on Sundays. After hanging around for about an hour, I was upset to find out that my curriculum wasn't all ready to go. I usually take the weekend before school starts to do my yearly lessons. I'm not the kind of person who likes surprises when it comes to what I want & when I want it. Erin & David came down with me, & Erin did pretty nicely considering I couldn't just let her play with everything. We did a bit of running around Sunday & had a temper tantrum almost every hour. I guess once she left the synagogue, Erin felt she could let it all out - and boy did she ever! Getting her to nap is impossible so she was rip roaring tired too. It didn't help that all of a sudden my back decided to take a vacation. I will, however, admit that my mood was altered by only having 5 hours of sleep. Once Erin wakes up, we all have to wake up. She doesn't want to miss a single moment of the day.
Today we went out early again to shop even more. Erin only wanted to go to school. Poor child really hates having her schedule messed with. Face it, this past week was pretty hectic with having no school for 2 days, then going back to school, & then having no school again. She really misses her time with Miss Ethel & her friends.
Normally Erin does super great when we go to Barnes & Noble. She'll play with the Thomas the Train setup for a while & then hunt for some books. Today all she wanted to do was talk - very loudly - about the fact that I wouldn't get her the books she wanted. What can I say? She's just not ready for the big kid stuff yet. That & the fact that she doesn't have much in the way of attention span for more than 15 minutes. Then we went to WalMart where she only wanted to go to the video game dept to play. Now you have to know that Erin is a very deprived child. We didn't let her take her Leapster into the store.
We got home, had lunch & then napped. That was nice until I heard Erin ask to play something that David said no to. Let the screaming begin. Again!
Thankfully, it's after 9:00, & she's been in bed for an hour so we've had some peace & quiet. Of course, when I'm ready to go in myself in a bit, the last thing I'll do is take a peek at my gorgeous girl, whisper to her that I love her & thank G-d for putting her in our care.
As I told Erin this afternoon, she is momma & daddy's very breath.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
My last posting told the story "Little Girls Don't Like This." My coworkers were laughing like crazy when I told them.
Well, yesterday had Erin her 4 year dental checkup & well-visit checkup. In the morning as we were getting ready she asked me if there was a potty in the dentist's office. Now what kind of question was that one!? With a straight face, I said of course there would be a potty at his office but why did she want to know. Erin looked at me like I had 3 heads & said "I might need to go potty momma!"
Then we went to her 4 year checkup with the wonderful Dr. Liang. Erin really likes her pediatrician which makes things easy for us. When Dr. Liang walked into the examining room, Erin said "Hi Dr. Liang! You look like "W." I started to laugh so hard! We watch Good Eats on the Food Network with Alton Brown. There is a character on the show by the name of "W." Well, W is Asian. I had to explain to Dr. Liang that Erin is finally starting to notice Asian people. Thankfully, the doctor has a great sense of humor & laughed with us.
I can't wait to hear what tomorrow brings us!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I know that the title here is "Little Girls Don't Like That," but these pictures just remind me of how happy Erin really is. Last night for dinner David & I ordered in pizza & wings. Erin asked me what I was eating so I explained that they were chicken wings. She asked me if she could try one, & of course, since she's such a picky eater I got excited & said yes. I gave her the wing, she smelled it, put it by her mouth & then put it back on the platter. With a very serious look on her face, she said "Momma, little girls don't like that." David & I just started to laugh. It seems that there's a lot little girls don't like - vegetables, chicken wings, red meat, bedtime, rules, etc.
Erin has really been enjoying craft time in school & camp so this past weekend I told Erin we could have craft time at home. I purchased a set of ceramic magnets that Erin could paint. She was just as happy as could be painting them & really enjoyed seeing them up on our fridge. This is really the first time she's wanted to do anything other than play-doh. Normally, Erin likes to use her color wonder markers & books, play with her remote control car or even sit in her room & jam on her drums.
Just a few weeks ago, my friends Lisa & Scott took Erin (& me) out for a belated birthday celebration. We went to Chuck E Cheese where she started to have one of her meltdowns since she can't take loud noises. We worked through it, & she ended up having a great time with her buddy Robbie (Lisa & Scott's son).
Sunday, August 13, 2006
First & foremost, I had to get Erin to try on clothing - something she absolutely hates to do. It seemed to have taken forever, but we got it done. Tons of jeans & other things that we have to give away - most of it never worn due to her petite size. Let's face it, Erin is really petite. I still have a few shorts left that are 18 months or 2T. Her length is ready for 4T but her waist is still in the 2T/3T zone. Living in Florida & being able to wear shorts 90% of the time has a whole new meaning of ease to it!
After I finished getting her backpack almost ready to go, David & I sat down to do our homework for pre-K. We have to send Erin in this week with 3 pictures - a baby picture, a recent picture & a family picture. Wow! That was hard. We haven't had a family photo done since Erin came into our lives. Thankfully, my MIL had insisted on a huge family photo 2 years ago after Rosh HaShanah dinner. David scanned the photo & edited out the rest of the family. I have a perfect recent picture from her 3rd Forever Family Day about a month ago.
When it came time to find a baby picture, I broke down. I sat at my computer & just cried so hard. Poor David didn't know what happened. When I calmed down enough to tell him what was wrong, he just sat there & listened. Needing to send in a baby picture of Erin reminded me that we missed the first 10 months of her life & all of the milestones that entailed. Most of the time I don't think about it, but this was one of the times that it hit really hard. David suggested we send in one of Erin's referral pictures as her baby picture. I explained to him that while we love those pictures, I feel that they are Erin's & are private. I do have some pictures from when she was in the orphanage, but I really feel as if they are not ours to share with her teachers & classmates. I believe that is Erin's story, & she will need to make the decision to share that time in her life or not.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
As you look at this picture you can see how much David hates having his picture taken. However, you can also see just how much Erin loves being in her daddy's arms. At the end of a long day, watching them together gives me an amazing feeling of peace.
The last few weeks have been hard on David & Erin. We had given her permission to stop napping during the day at camp. Erin is such an active child, that at the end of the day, she was totally zonked. David picks her up from school & camp since he gets off earlier than I do. Each day he picked her up, she would start out by screaming at him & passing out on the way home. She would sleep until I got home from work when it was time for dinner. Dinner was not an enjoyable time for our family. Erin has never been the best of eaters - unless a snack was involved - & it got worse once we stopped naptime. By the time bedtime came around, Erin wanted nothing to do with David & would even scream at him to go away. David & I had a talk this past week & decided that Erin was going back to napping during the day. Well, the change in her personality made us positive the decision was the best thing for us. Since she started napping during the day again, Erin has returned to being the loving daughter we have known. She looks forward to doing things with Daddy again - even playing her drums.
I have to admit that I absolutely adore watching David be a daddy. He is such a warm & loving father! David is an avid astronomer. Whenever he takes out one of his telescopes, as long as Erin is still awake, they go out together to look at the sparklies & fuzzies (a/k/a stars & clouds). They both get super excited about their time together. David even bought Erin a new blanket that has the planets & stars on it. This has become her favorite blanket.
He's already planning on scaring off all of Erin's future boyfriends. You should hear all of the mean things he's planning on doing! And, of course, I'm right there with him!
Monday, August 07, 2006
This was such a great weekend for Erin. Friday night we celebrated Erin's 4th birthday with our friends Art & Susan whose youngest daughter, Juliana, was adopted at the same time as Erin. The girls are from the same SWI (Yangchun), & we try to get together a few times a year - their birthdays being one of those times. We went out for dinner with Art & Susan & their family down here in S FL & had a great time.
Saturday morning Erin & I went to the adoption workshop that Susan held. A few other adoptive moms came with their children. It was so cool to watch all the babies play together. Erin really loves babies & had a blast with the girls. Afterwards, Erin & I went home & hung out with Daddy David. I love watching Erin & David together. He's such a super father & totally in love with fatherhood - even on the most trying of days. They spent part of their time together playing on Erin's new drum set. This child is amazing. She has the rock & roll genes for sure.
Sunday was our shopping day, & Erin was such a trooper. After dragging her all over town, all she wanted to do when we got home was ride her new scooter. She had a great time scooting up & down our street on her pretty pink scooter. David & I let her stay up a bit later so he could put together her new vanity. Uncle Seth, Aunt Annie & Cousin Sean thought a young lady of 4 just has to have a vanity - especially a pink one! She's having the time of her life sitting at her new vanity putting on makeup (pretend!) & coming her hair.
Yup! It was a nice weekend all in all.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Erin turned 4 this past Sunday, & life has changed. She woke up around 4:30 am & came into bed with me for a good snuggle. I quietly whispered "Happy Birthday Punkie!" My sweet girl said "Thank you momma! I a big girl now not a baby." Ouch! Did you hear my heart rip in 2?
This has been a year of change for our family. When we received our baby in China, we had no idea that she was terrified of water. Bath time for the last 2 1/2 years has been a time of horror with her screaming as if we were torturing her. About 6 months ago, Erin's attitude started to change. Of course, David & I have to thank our friend Deborah & her sweet son Jonathan - Erin's best buddy. We have all worked to make bath time easier on her, & it's paying off. Even the lifeguards at camp mentioned the difference from last year to this year. Last year, she was very resistant to the pool. The director of the swim program evaluated Erin & told us that she was not ready for lessons which was hard to hear since we live in S FL. This year, the lifeguards, who are devoting some extra time to Erin, said that she's excited about swim time & gets in without hassles. Who know? Maybe by this time next year, she'll even lay back in the tub to rinse her hair off. Right now she still stands & covers her eyes. Progress takes time. We're getting there.
Monday, July 31, 2006
David & I decided to adopt back in the summer of 2000. This was such a miracle for me since in 1996 he had told me that he didn't really want children. Back in college I'd told him that I wanted 4 children, & he told me he only wanted 1 child.
We started our paperwork October 2000 with Great Wall China Adoption & the journey began. After some major ups & downs, our paperwork was sent to China in February 2002. We had a heck of a wait - 14 months! April 1, 2003 is etched in my memory as THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER. We received a referral for the most solemn looking little girl. My friend Wendy told us that she had an old soul in her eyes & she would be very smart. June 2, 2003 was our Gotcha Day. The nanny from the Yangchun SWI placed a very quiet, sad looking baby into my arms, & the tears flowed - both mine & David's. While in China, friends & family emailed us through our yahoo group "Hersh Travel to China." My friend Lyssette put it simply:
E = exotic child
R = received in Guangzhou China
I = instantly loved
N = ???? (I can't believe that I can't remember this. I'll have to update it when I can find it.)
All this & more is true. I actually think that the "N" was equal to nourished a family with love.
We recently celebrated 3 years of being a Forever Family. Yes, there have been ups & downs. I wouldn't trade any of them for 1 thing in this world. We tell Erin every night: "We love you always & forever. No matter what." Then she repeats it & we all say goodnight.