Friday, April 27, 2007

Well, it's finally happened, . . .

. . . and I certainly wasn't expecting it!
Today was the last day of my vacation. At the last minute I decided to ask Erin if she'd like to take a day off from school & spend it with mama. I told her exactly what we would be doing & that I would expect her to behave the right way. Erin immediately said she wanted to spend the day with me. I called David to let him know, & he wasn't too happy about her missing a day of school but finally got it.
Our first stop was the nail salon. I had to cancel my last appointment due to a bad stomach bug that lasted way too long. Anyway, it was going to be a very long visit since my nails were in bad shape. The people who own the salon & the people who work there are from Viet Nam & China. They've met Erin before & are very nice to her. A few of the ladies started to ask Erin if she was from China. When she said yes, they asked her if speaks Chinese & then started to speak to her in Chinese.
From the minute we adopted Erin, she would get very agitated whenever someone to her in Chinese. She had definitely gotten better with her reactions to hearing Chinese. After all, we've spent the last 3.5 years telling Erin how beautiful China was & how proud she should be to come from such an amazing country.
When these ladies were speaking with Erin & asking questions, she got visibly shy & upset. Being her mother, I noticed that her reactions weren't in the norm for her. After we left the shop & got into the car, I asked Erin if she was upset. When she said yes, I asked her if she was upset about the ladies asking us questions.
Blow me away! My child said yes it bothers her!!! Since Erin is 4 & not always able to communicate in the way adults do, I asked her questions to make sure I understood her. It turns out that my daughter doesn't like to have her adoption discussed with people. It bothers her that people expect her to be able to converse in Chinese but she doesn't want to go to Chinese school. We did talk about this some more. It turns out that Erin is very comfortable talking about being Chinese with our FCC family & our family. She didn't want us to discuss it at the Great Wall adoption workshops that my friend Susan holds occasionally. I explained to her that the workshops were held so that other people could bring home little boys & girls so that they could have families also. She's okay with that.
All this said, my daughter shocked me. I had no idea that at 4 she had these feelings. She's never asked questions about a birth mother or why she doesn't look like her mama & daddy. She's always been content to accept her life the way it was. In fact, I've even discussed this with my friend Sandra. Her daughter Jazzie is always asking the most amazing questions. I guess it's my turn to figure it all out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's My Blog, & I'll Complain If I Want To!!

Many of us have our own blogs these days. We use them to journal our feelings, experiences & of course to keep in touch with family & friends. Many of us blog about not only the positives but also about the negatives that we deal with in life. Unfortunately, there are people who blast (a/k/a flame) the poster. Now, I do believe that we have a right to blog/post what is on our minds. When we belong to a yahoo group, we should try to be as considerate as possible (just MHO here). Remember that we are reading words "on a piece of paper" so we can't hear what the person is "saying" with all of the intonations & such. However, when we blog, we are on our own forum & should feel comfortable knowing that no one will blast us.

Sometimes people don't have their own blog so their comments have to be made anonymously. On the other hand, you have the people who do have blogs but chose to remain anonymous so that they can be, well, downright nasty in their comments. Because of this situation, many of my fellow bloggers (myself included) have chosen to not allow anonymous comments. It may be something for you to consider.

It's a sorry state of affairs that we now have to worry about what we write on our own blogs.

I hate bedtime!

Sleep? My child? Nope. Not happening! Still. We thought we had the problem licked when we bought Erin her new bedroom set. Since she was complaining that her bed was too small, we gave in & bought her a new set months earlier than originally planned. Ha! She was just teasing us. And we fell for it - hook, line & sinker.
We have major battles each & every evening getting Erin to go to sleep. There's the usual BS that every parents deals with like needing to go potty, needing a drink, needing a hug, & her night light isn't on. Then there's the arguing about how it isn't dark outside so it can't be bedtime so she doesn't have to go to sleep. The argument that is sending me over the edge is that Erin wants me to go to sleep when she does. That would be fine if her bedtime were around 10:00 pm, but she goes in by 8:00 pm Sunday through Thursday & 8:30 pm on Fridays & Saturdays. The tantrum that we are treated to each night is ridiculous. I have tried logic with her "Sweetie I need time with Daddy." & "Erin, I don't go to sleep when you do." Logic isn't working.
Thankfully Erin hasn't woken up in the middle of the night for a few months. I was going in to work looing like death warmed over. I'm just darn lucky that my co-workers understand they can't talk about anything important with me till that first sip of coffee is coursing through my veins.
I know I'm not alone in this. Many other 4 & 5 year olds hate going to sleep. On the other hand, I hate that I have to deal with it by telling her what she will lose if she doesn't go to sleep.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scrap Skanks in Action

Some my friends & I get together a few times a month to do some scrapbooking. We have tons of fun - gossip, goodies, scrapping. I need another Scrap Night!

a comic strip!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Birthday Celebration

I celebrated my birthday this past Sunday (please no tax jokes as I've heard them all). Having a birthday cake is majorly (is that a word?) important to me. I was born during Passover & most of my life have gone without a cake to celebrate. Can I tell you how that just sucks? Imagine being a child & not being able to have a birthday cake. Heck, if I remember correctly I didn't have one for my 13th, 21st, 30th - well just about all of them since my day usually falls out on Passover.
My brother-in-law & I share a birthday so Steven feels the same way. As soon as the Jewish calendars come out, I look at April to see when Passover falls. Then I call Steven & let him know if we're getting a cake that year. It's become a ritual in our family, & we actually have a good laugh over it.
This past Saturday night, Erin & I went over to my friends' Viv & Corey to celebrate my birthday. We had a wonderful sushi dinner followed by that marvelous looking cake you see here. "YUMMO!" isn't descriptive enough for this cake - chocolate cake, chocolate filling, fudge icing & topped with the most amazing strawberries. Because I don't normally get to have birthday cake, I had a rather nice slice & enjoyed each bite of it. It was pure sin!
After dinner, Viv & I spent a nice night scrapbooking. She's doing a great job scrapping her journey to her daughter. I'm so amazed by the sheer beauty of her book. I am just about done scrapping my "2006 Travels" book.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I Got My Gi!!

We enrolled Erin in Karate at her school the week before Spring Break. She was so excited to finally get her gi!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pics From the New Camera

Here are just 2 pics I took with my new camera. I have to admit that I love snap away when Erin's around.
And to top it all off, Erin's new camera came in the mail today. I have to recommend that any parent with a child over 3 look into the Fisher Price Kid Tough Camera. Erin loves hers! We've been showing her how to take pictures correctly (getting peoples' faces & such), & she does a pretty good job at it. When I can print out some of her pics, I'm going to start her with her own little scrapbook.

Gotta love my man!!

Well, maybe you don't have to love him, but I sure do! David's favorite hobby is stargazing. He's been doing it for as long as I know him. We saved our pennies for this telescope for quite a while & he uses it as often as possible. Unfortunately, living in S FL the skies aren't all that great but he does it when he can.
This past Saturday night, as David was setting up for his evening, he asked me to join him & Erin outside. For those of you who know me, you know I don't do sunlight. (I might melt you know!) I took my book & sat down to read but decided to ask Erin to get my camera. I figured this would be a great opportunity to get some pics. When Erin brought me the camera, & I took it out, the display was - - - well, not there. The screen was white, & where it wasn't white, it looked like someone took a blue crayon & had fun. AAAHHHHH!!!!
I've gotten into scrapbooking over the last year so my camera has been almost attached to me. I was so upset that David offered to stop what he was doing so we could go buy a replacement camera. Needless to say, I told him to continue what he was doing. The camera was able to take pictures but not display them. In fact, this is one of the last pictures I took with the camera. Bye-bye Canon! :-(
On my way to Debbie's house to pick Erin up, I called David to check in & give him a time table. My man, my dear husband knew I was really upset about losing my camera. On the way home from work, he went out & replaced it for me!! He got me the updated version of my little Canon because I had loved it so much. Well, that & the fact that I had recently purchased 3 new batteries for it.
As soon as I got home, I checked out my camera. Oooohhh!! I'm going to have some fun.
Thanks David!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Duh!!! 4 Questions???

Forgive me for my last post. My friend Sandra just asked me what the Four Questions were. Duh! Sometimes I forget about "diversity" & just ramble on.
The first 2 nights of Passover begin with a seder - a family meal (usually with tons of family & friends in attendance) is enjoyed with the retelling of the exodus from Egypt to Israel in a book called a "hagaddah." At one point in the seder, a child (usually the youngest male who can read Hebrew - although to be honest it was me until my 30th birthday) reads the Four Questions. These questions are asked & then the person leading the seder answers. These questions explain why we do what we do on Passover. Here goes:
Why is this night different from all others?
1. Any other night we can eat whatever kind of bread we choose. On this night, we can eat only unleavened bread (matzah).
2. Any other night, we can eat whatever herbs we want. On this night, we eat only bitter herbs.
3. Any other night, we do not dip even once. On this night, we dip twice.
4. Any other night, we eat & drink either sitting or reclining. On this night, we all recline.
And for inquiring minds, the answers:
1. We eat matzah as a reminder of the Hebrew slaves who had to leave Egypt in a hurry & didn't have time to make sure their bread rose.
2. We eat bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of slavery.
3. We dip twice to remind us of the tears of the Hebrew slaves.
4. We recline because now we are not slaves & have choices.
Some people may argue with my translations & answers, but these are the general explanations.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The 4 Questions

One of my yahoo groups is for Jewish Families with Children from China. A few families have been looking for the 4 Questions in Chinese. I had never thought of it before, but let's face it - people from many different countries recite these important questions. So. Why not China? Here they are in Mandarin Chinese.
The Four Questions
Wèishénme zhège wân shang gen bié de wân shang bù yï yang?
1. Bié de wân shang, wômen chi famiàn miànbao; jìntiän wân shang chï si miàn miànbao.
2. Bié de wân shang, wômen chi gè zhong gè yàng de shu cài; jìntiân wân shang wômen zhí chï ku cài.
3. Bié de wân shang, wômen bù yòng shu cài zhàn yán shui; jìntiän wân shang zhàn liang cì.
4. Bié de wân shang, wômen zuò zhe huò zhe xié tang zhe chï; jìntiän wân shang, wômen xié tang zhe chï.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Referral Anniversary!

This is one of 3 pictures that we received 4 years ago today. Yes, April 1st - you know, April Fools Day. After a 14 month wait from DTC (now known as LID) to referral day, I got the call on April Fools Day. I was so upset that someone would play such a horrible joke on me that I hung up the phone. Needless to say, my social worker from GWCA called back & in a rush said that this was really THE CALL. It was all I could do to ask the questions that I'd been carrying around everywhere. I had the agency send the photos via email to David since I had gotten the info.

Four years later & life is very different. David walks around smiling frequently. He loves being a father - something he was very worried about. Of course, I always knew that he'd be a great daddy. Our daughter is a happy, loving, polite, caring person. Erin usually has a smile on her face. She loves music - Hannah Montana, Wiggles, Jewish music, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Rob Zombie, AC/DC, etc. She loves movies - Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Finding Nemo, etc. Last week she took her very first karate class & got her white belt. According to her instructor, he doesn't normally give the belt out at the first class, but she was so enthusiastic that he felt he had to.
And let's not forget that we are now part of a larger community. The adoption community is amazing!! We have lifelong friends that I can count on to understand when I need understanding & to laugh & cry with when that's what I need.
Four years has definitely brought about some changes. Thank G-d!

New Bedroom Set

Last Monday David & I took Erin to go buy her new bedroom set. She's been complaining that she wants a new bedroom set. It really was time so we decided to just go & do it. We have learned that Erin has a mind of her own & a good sense of what will work for her. If it isn't something that will drive us nuts & is safe, we usually will allow her to help in the decision process. Anyway, we had the choice narrowed down to 1 bedroom set in 2 places.

When we made the purchase, we were told that because we wanted delivery of everything once, it could take 2-3 weeks. This was not a problem for us since she did have a bed. Friday we got the call from the salesperson that everything was in. We scheduled delivery for Saturday between 7 & 1. BTW, that was in the a.m. I asked her if there was a better time frame & she told me that because of where we live, we would be among the last to get delivery. Cool! That gave us enough time to eat breakfast & pull her room apart.

The phone woke us up at 7:30 a.m.!! Yup. The furniture was here. We were all in bed & nothing was ready. The delivery guys were wonderful & helped us pull everything out of Erin's room. Then they didn't mind that I was taking pictures of her new set being put in.

Passover Show

Friday Erin's class participated in a show called "Haggadah in the Round." Alll 3 pre-K classes & the Kindergarten class participated. It was done really well, & you could see how excited the children were & how hard they had worked.

Erin was so happy to see me at the show. I just loved seeing her big smile! Of course, it didn't last long when she realized that she couldn't come over & sit on my lap. Either way, she was too cute. After the show, we went back to the childrens' classrooms to enjoy a Passover snack of matzah with cream cheese, jelly or chocolate spread.

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