Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who Knew I Was Fabulous? Not Me!

And the rules are:
  1. Pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs including the one that gave it to you.
  2. List 5 of your fabulous addictions.

I really do look forward to reading all of my blogs so these awards are getting kind of hard. However, there are a few that are truly fabulous.

  1. The Daily Grind - Jazzie & Tahlia - Sandra takes some of the most amazing pics of her girls. Whether she started snapping away when Jazzie came home or if she was snapping before, the pics are wonderful. Sandra's subjects range from cooking/baking with her girls, to the challenges she finds as the mother of 2 girls to PADS (post adoption depression syndrome). She is open & honest.
  2. Life With Kerri - I'll admit it. Viv's blog is special to me. After all, Kerri is my goddaughter. I look forward to reading her blog since they live way too far away from me. Even Erin looks forward to seeing the pics of Kerri. Viv's sense of humor comes through in her writing.
  3. Our Red Thread Family (password protected) - I met Dawn through Lori & haven't looked back once. I look forward to reading all about the adventures of Lily & Rose. Her girls are just too delicious for words. Then there's her hubby Jacob - my partner in crime when it comes to lobster bisque & tootsie rolls. Dawn's writing style thrills me to pieces. I can actually here her chatting away as I read her blog.
  4. A Houseful of Critters - Gretchen has a great sense of humor. I look forward to reading about Elise the girly girl of all time. Just seeing Elise's dresses makes me drool since Erin won't wear them. Her son Carson is one cool kid. He seems to be as much a boy as a mom could want. And of course reading about Gretchen & Perry's doings also intrigues me.
  5. Stress is the New Black - Lori is an amazing woman. Yes, she is the mom to 3 special people. Katie Starr keeps me in stitches with her serious side & then immediately switching to the fun-loving girl. Ethan is Erin's very special guy. No one understands it, but they have an amazing connection. Then there is her son Justin. Truly this young man is a product of his parents. I love reading all about the happenings in their home. Then there is Lori herself. Have I mentioned that she is amazing? With everything going on in her household, she always takes the time to make sure her friends are well-taken card of. Her guy Marc? You have to love a man who changes his FB status just so I can make a comment. Thanks for the award Lori!!

5 Fabulous Addictions? Uh oh. I can't believe that I have to limit myself. Let's see.

  1. Coffee - Tim Hortons, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks
  2. Coca Cola - NOT Pepsi. COKE.
  3. Scrapbooking - Thanks for the addiction Lisa! I've passed it on to Viv. :-)
  4. Reading - for pleasure only (romances, smut, magazines, mystery, true crime)
  5. Erin - Do I really have to say anything else??

So there you have it. My 5.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

30 Years Later

When I was 8, we moved to Long Island. They were living in the house across the street. Our moms & dads were very good friends - not just family. We used to just walk into each others' homes - no knocking or ringing doorbells for us. At some point our moms had a falling out, but we never stopped talking. I guess kids just know better when it comes to certain things.
When I was 16, we moved to Florida. After a while, we lost touch with each other. Now it is 30 years later, & we're back in touch with each other. I love FaceBook!
As you know, my name is Tammie, & I am a FaceBook addict. Well, over the last few months I've been searching for family & old friends. After not having contact for 30 years, I found my cousins Alan & Joni. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. Alan & I used to tease each other mercilessly as kids but always had a connection.
I'm older by a few months. The year we turned 13, we knew we would be required to fast on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). The holiday came, & I was already 13 so I was fasting. Alan's birthday is in December so he wasn't 13 yet thereby not fasting. I can remember him walking into my house carrying a plate of cherry pie, eating it & making "yum" noises. Then he looked at me & said "Gee. I guess you can't have any." He was lucky I didn't throw something at him! Of course, when I got sick, he was right there with me too. It was a great relationship.
His sister Joni is older than me by a year but I always looked up to her. At 15, she really didn't want anything to do with a younger cousin but she always made time for me. She introduced me to Chicago, Elton John, poetry along with lots of other things.
Unfortunately, Joni had a very early flight home this morning so we didn't get to meet up. Alan & I met up at a local restaurant. It really felt as if no time had passed even though we are now 45 & both have children. He looks just like his dad with his mom's coloring. And, of course, he told me that I looked just like my mom.
I can't wait for us to get together again. Next time we're going to one of our homes & bringing old family pictures to browse.

Great Wall FL Celebrates Chinese New Year! (Sunday, January 18th)

Here it is. The whole reason we went up to Orlando. The Great Wall China Adoption FL Families celebration of Chinese New Year! And boy did we all welcome in the Year of the Ox!!

Susan works very hard to put together a great party for everyone. Of course, I'll admit it, she gets people to work with her, & they all work hard. In the end though, everyone always has a blast.

Erin is ready to party!

Jolene put bows into Erin's hair & she kept them in!

Erin & Uncle Art (our annual pic of these 2)

Erin with Ethan & Katie Starr (a/k/a The Dynamic Duo) & their amazing mom Lori

The virtual tripliets - Erin with Julianna & Isabella

Candy, Rachel & David

Hannah, Olivia, Erin, Julianna & Isabella (another annual pic)

Jolene selling her fabulous clothing & bows

Marc - hard at work entertaining everyone

This man knows how to party!

Erin modeling her Fu outfit - one of Jolene's creations

Sea World Saturday & Dinner with Susan & Her Crew

This was Erin's first time going to Sea World. She hasn't been interested in anything that might have a character, but David & I finally convinced her that it would be a great place to go. For weeks before our trip, Erin was asking "When are we going to Sea World?"

I reminded Erin of some basic rules before we entered the park. We took Erin's stroller in just in case she got tired (never mind the fact that I needed it for balance with my wobbly hip). Jolene & I were talking while Erin watched everything in fascination. Then the screams began. While we were trying to decide which direction to take, Erin literally flew out of her stroller into Jolene's arms. Shamu had walked out of the employee area & was going to the photo spot. Poor Jolene! She didn't realize that when I said Erin is TERRIFIED of characters, I meant it. We got Erin calmed down & promised there were no more characters walking around (all the while I was praying I wasn't fibbing to her.) Off we went to discover what Sea World was all about.

Erin really enjoyed seeing the dolphins, the penguins & puffins & the stingrays. She had a great time choosing an oyster to get her very own pearl. She even enjoyed shopping & spending her Chanukah money on a stuffed Shamu. But the part she like the best & was totally enchanted with was the Blue Horizons show. She couldn't see so she sat on Jolene's lap & barely breathed the entire time.

When we got back to the hotel, we sat down for a while to rest & then got the call. Susan & Art & their girls were finally there. And their room still wasn't ready! We had them come up to visit with us until they could go to their room. Jolene hadn't met Susan yet even though she was selling her gorgeous stuff at our party so this was perfect.

After they got settled in their own room, we all went out to dinner. Jolene tried to weasel her way out saying that she didn't want to intrude on our visit. Ha! Susan told her she expected Jolene to join us. Jolene tried to back out again, but I explained that when Susan talks, we all jump! We went over to Chevy's for some wonderful Mexican food. I've never been there before & was amazed by how yummy it all was. Everyone had a great time eating & chatting the night away.

When we got back to the hotel, I zonked right out. It was a great day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Driving With Miss Jolene (January 16, 2009)

Have I ever mentioned that I have some wonderful friends?
Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate to drive on a good day. Night driving? I hate it. Well, Lori read my blog & knew how nervous I was about driving to Orlando. She was chatting with our friend Jolene who was also going up there as a vendor. I can't see 2 inches in front of my face so the night driving was scary to me. Jolene doesn't mind the drive but didn't want to do it alone. These 2 ladies conspired to help me out. Lori had me call Jolene to see if we could work something out that would be to both our benefit. Thanks gals!
It was perfect. Jolene would do the driving & have the company. I wouldn't have to drive & panic. Since Jolene hadn't made hotel arrangements yet, I assured her she could stay in the suite that I had reserved. A true girls' weekend!
Friday afternoon, David packed up my car, & off I went into the unknown with Erin. Being the lunatic I am, I called Jolene for very specific directions to her house. Mapquest & Google weren't enough for me. I had to have verbal confirmation that the directions were right. Jolene stayed on the phone with me for most of my drive so I wouldn't get lost. I owe her hubby Freeman a huge hug for letting me take up her last hour before leaving for the weekend!
Erin & I got to Jolene's house & everything was transferred from my car to Jolene's car. Erin was under the threat of pain of death to avoid discussing the trip with Jolene's girls. Apparently Jade & Emma LOVE Sea World & would have been very upset to find out that mom was going there without them.
For about 3 hours, Erin sat in the back watching a DVD that Jolene brought along. And Jolene & I spent the entire time gabbing about anything & everything. We've been friendly for a few years, but this was a nice way to get really get to know each other on a whole different level.
The directions to the hotel were a hoot. Half of the directions were perfect. The other half? Well, we traveled for an extra half hour. Chit chatting away the whole time.
When we finally did make it to our hotel, we were exhausted & hungry. And as hungry as we all were, there was only one thing that mattered to us. Wherever we ordered from had to sell Coca Cola since the hotel is a Pepsi place. (Can you say "Ugh!" to the max?) The food was good. The soda was better.
And the weekend began.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Therapy? I Think Not!

Yesterday's session was more like torture! Or at the very least an adventure in looking like a fool. They've been super busy over where I go for therapy so I had the pleasure of having Tim (the owner & head therapist) work with me. He told me that even though I had my 30 day evaluation last week, he wanted to do a mini-reevaluation & see how much I could do.
Ha! The man definitely has a sense of humor. The first thing he asked me was if I brought my exercise sheet with me. Uh, I've been doing the same exercises 2-3 times a week for the last 30 days Tim. I brought them with me for maybe 3 sessions. I kind of already know what to do. Anyway, I ran through my exercises, chatted with him about where my pain now is & discussed my concerns with Tim.
  • I'm so flexible that it's hard to judge how far is too far.
  • My pain is usually at a 1-2 but since Sunday I've been at a 3. (This is on a scale of 1-10.) Yay for me!
  • I'm going nuts not being able to do much at work. No bending, picking anything up, don't sit too long, don't stand too long. You see what I mean?
  • I haven't figured out how to bend & get up yet. Sounds easy but it really isn't. I can get down. No problem. Getting up? Not so easy.

Tim gave me some exercises to teach me how to bend correctly. Apparently my back doesn't have the stability to do that properly yet. Argh! To be honest, at work I don't really care about this. At home, this means leaving everything for David & Erin to do. I'm actually getting bored with this princess routine.

Oh! Wait! Let's not forget the exercises with the big Pilates type balls. First I get to sit on this huge thing, hold weights in both hands & lift one leg with the opposite arm. And I have to balance on the ball without it shifting. Those who know me understand that I can't walk & chew gum at the same time. This stuff is not easy. Then there's the exercise where I lay over the big Pilates ball, do what's called a pelvic tilt (watch it you dirty minded people!) & lift one leg with the opposite arm. Again, balance & coordination are not my thing.

Maybe I should video this so I can have a good laugh when it's all over.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rambling On

Lots of things going on here. Some good. Some just pissing me off.
  • Erin hates to read books. Just the first time. Once she's read it, she'll reread it over & over. I've finally figured out that she doesn't like the unknown & hates being wrong when learning to pronounce new words.
  • On that note. Schooling has really changed so much since I was there. I don't expect everything to remain the same but there are things that should be standard. Why are we pushing our children to learn things earlier & earlier? In first grade I was learning to read "Run Dick run. See Spot run." Erin is expected to read compound words - breakfast, meatballs. No one has taught these children the basics of reading like how to pronounce "ie" or "ea" or how to break words into syllables to be read. Math? Well, I still suck at that topic but I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing double digit addition in first grade.
  • Erin loves school. She adores her teachers, & while she is a chatter, I've never had her teachers send home a note.
  • Each Friday she gets to go into the treasure box because she has stayed on track with her behavior. Huh? They reward children for good behavior. In my day, good behavior was expected, & the consequences for poor behavior were something you didn't want to know about.
  • My therapy is really coming along nicely. I had my 30 day assessment, & they want me to continue for another 30 days. There are still things I can't do but I am so much further along. I can't thank the folks at Aspen Rehab enough.
  • The big Chinese New Year celebration that is sponsored by Great Wall China Adoption in Florida is next week. David & I made plans to attend back in November. He found out on Tuesday that he is on call for the weekend. That means he can't go away with us.
  • I can't let Erin down by not attending. This is also the time of year that we get to see her orphanage sister Julianna. I have to fight my fears & figure out how to drive to Orlando. Without a panic attack. BTW, I don't like to drive to the east side of town.
  • I haven't slept since I found out about this. My asthma is acting up. I'm scared poopless about driving 3 hours. I can't let Erin down. How the hell am I going to do this?
  • David has confidence in me. My boss is willing to let me leave early, but I still have to drive the last part at night. Have I mentioned that I don't see well at night? Yup. I'm scared poopless.
  • The bank merger is done. I now work for Wells Fargo. The integration hasn't started yet though. I don't like to do things last minute. I need time to adjust. I really hope they don't just spring the training on us & give us a week to learn it all.

'Nuff said?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Fate or the Red Thread?

I don't care what you call it - fate, destiny, the red thread, whatever. I believe in it & always have.

Erin has been taking karate since she was 4 1/2 years old. We started her lessons when she was in the VPK class at Temple Beth Am, & when she graduated from their kindergarten program, we continued the lessons at American Dragon Martial Arts Academy. By the way, while David & I were the ones who insisted Erin start taking karate lessons, she absolutely loves it & wants to continue. This is not something that she is doing because the mommy & daddy want her to. So many children are put into programs & kept in them because the parents want it - not the children.

Anyway, the owners Sifu Neil & Sifu Helana have been very involved with Erin's lessons & training since her graduation from the Temple Beth Am program. Both have told us that they can't believe her focus & concentration for one so young. I'll admit it. She really is a powerhouse.

A few months ago, David took Erin in for her lesson. While he was there, he got to talking with one of the instructors. Here's the red thread for you believers. David & Sharon grew up together. Their parents were very close until the families moved away & life got in the way of keeping up. My in-laws were thrilled to hear that David & Sharon are now in touch again. Sharon has been taking karate lessons for years, & Sifu Neil & Sifu Helana are not only her personal instructors, but also her dearest friends.

This past Saturday, I took Erin in for her lesson for the first time since I got hurt. How nice to have everyone come & ask how I've been! After Erin's lessons are over, she enjoys staying to watch the next class which is Sharon's personal class. She gets to see what she'll be able to do down the road. Sifu Neil came over to chat with me. The man is honestly amazed by the connections. It turns out, he probably lived a few blocks away from David when they were growing up.

Red thread. Fate. Destiny. Call it what you will. I think it's neat.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Bad Blogger Turning Good - I Hope

I've been a bad blogger. I know. The last few months have sort of gotten away from me. I hurt my back the day before Halloween so sitting at my desk to blog has definitely not been one of the major things on my mind. I don't blog from my laptop although I keep up with everytone from there. Fortunately, therapy has worked wonders for me, & I'm back on track. Yay! Anyway, much has happened. Here are the things I find most notable:
  • I've discovered just how empathetic my sweet Erin really is. Because my back was hurt "just so" I've been unable to sit at the dinner table since we have one of those "bistro" table sets from hell. Whatever I need, Erin has been doing for me. She will even sit with me & ask me "Wanna cuddle mama?" or just hold my hand. (We're shopping for a new kitchen set in the next few weeks since I won't be able to sit at that table again.)
  • This extremely patient person FINALLY got her referral!! PIPO is a lesson in patience. Go on & take a peek at her sweetie. Those of you who really know me, can figure out that I was blubbering all over the place when I read her good news. And, yes, sweet Erin brought me my box of tissues.
  • Do you believe in the power of prayer? I do. I've been praying very hard for 2 special people who are in need. My friend Viv's mom has been ill for a long time, and she honestly believes this is the last holiday they will have with her. I've been praying for a miracle. My friend Lori's father-in-law, a/k/a Big Al has been having some serious health issues also. As both Viv's & Lori's family go through these hard times, there isn't much I can do but offer my prayers & my shoulders to lean on.
  • I have a very dear, but as of yet unmet friend who is very talented. Sandra has been taking pictures forever. I can still see the first pic she showed on her old website of her new puppy Lily. She is starting a new venture, & I KNOW she will succeed.

There are many other things going on but some things must be kept private. I share an awful lot here but still keep other things out of the picture. I'm thankful for some very dear friends who let me vent when I need to. I'll be calling you gals soon. It's that time of the month again, & no I don't mean what most of you think.