Saturday, August 28, 2010

Where Were We 2 Years Ago?

I will give you a hint. You guessed it.

2 years ago we were flying to China to meet our little girl. Who knew that life was about to get so interesting and fun? Brady was watching Emma (he calls her punk) while she was playing a few days ago and he said "our lives were pretty boring before she came along." No truer words have ever been spoken. It's hard to be bored now when you assist her with her wardrobe changes at least 6 times daily. It's like living with a diva. Bathing suits, aprons, robes, shorts, hats, gloves, shoes, boots, sandals, oh my. Does she ever tire of changing clothes? Why yes, if it involves a dress and then things get ugly.

I know this week will be nostalgic for me. I remember how exciting our journey was and how scary as well. Bittersweet is the word I would use. But I wouldn't change a thing. When I see the little girl that she is becoming and the challenges that she faces with such stamina I am completely blown away.

If you are reading our blog and thinking about adoption or supporting others who are adopting, JUST DO IT. It's a huge leap and it's very overwhelming but it's one of the greatest events in our lives and I wish we would have done it sooner. If we had done is sooner perhaps we could do it again. As it is now I don't think that is in God's plan for our lives. If it was however, we would jump at it.

Pianist Liu Wei(from Chinese talent show) eng sub

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

School Days and More

Well, school is a hit.

I cried the first day. Emma cried the second day. Emma made a face that was so sad and pitiful on the third day that I thought I might never send her again. Today, Emma pushed me to the door and told me "Diddy to go" which translates into "Ready to go" and she gave me a sweet little look and off she went. She is loving her friends and her teachers and it has made a noticeable change in her speech. She actually put a sentence together yesterday and told me "I fall down." Well, I almost did and it was wonderful to hear her say that.

She has become particularly fond of one of the boys in her class room and they are so sweet. She hugs him bye everyday and he just beams. It's the sweetest thing ever. One of the girls in her room decided that she wanted to eat like Emma does and only used her little fingers to eat her lunch. Apparently Emma is really causing a stir and why wouldn't she! She's amazing and I couldn't be prouder to be her mom.

Other little Emma isms that I need to document or I will forget include:

  • She wants me to hold her like a baby while I rock her and let her drink from her sippy cup. She also wants me to sing "Rockabye Baby" the entire time.
  • She continues to only poop while she is down for a nap or at night. When will we ever master pooping in the potty?
  • She continues to hate dogs but wants to pretend that she is one while I lead her on a "leash" and she pants.
  • Her new favorite toy is a Nerf gun that Ashton found downstairs in the toy box and gave to her. She walks around with one eye closed and aiming it at whatever is in the way. He also found a plastic cap gun holster and she wants to wear it all the time. I have to make her take it off to go to school.
  • She watches outside for the "ear" aka deer everyday and wants to take a picture of them.
  • Her favorite book right now is "Barnyard Dance" by Sandra Boyton. She loves to do all of the motions and say the names of the animals. A duck is a "quack quack" and a sheep is a "baa".
  • They are working on the letter C at school and I posted her "homework" on the door and she walks by it and says "A" all the time. We have some work to do on that.

She is amazing and I continue to be blown away by her personality. God chose the perfect little girl to be our daughter and she is growing up way too fast.

I have always tried to take a picture of the kids while they are sleeping on their first day of school and this was hers on August 16, 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

If You Give a Mouse Some Chocolate

It's August.

Christmas was 8 months ago.

We always get way too much candy at Christmas. Well, I think we get way too much but I'm sure that my children would disagree. Is there such a thing as too much of anything to eat when you are a teenager, especially candy?

My boys have never enjoyed sharing with one another. They hide their loot so that the other one can't have any. Call it brotherly love if you will. But sometimes being selfish just doesn't pay and apparently Ashton is as forgetful as his mother about some things.

Ashton told me earlier in the week, "I have a rat in my closet." A RAT. I don't think so. Not in this house, not on this land, not in this life, NO WAY. I explained that perhaps he has a mouse in his room because that is unfortunately a frequent occurrence when you live in the basement. He agreed that it was probably a mouse and I told him I would put some form of mouse demise out to eliminate our problem and then I forgot about it. It's not in my room.

Fast forward to today when the exterminator called and asked if they could do our quarterly service and I thought since Emma was at school it would be a good time. I also thought it might be a good time to get all of the junk out of the floor of Ashton's closet and let them spray for whatever might be in the area.

Here's where the Christmas candy comes in. Buried beneath the shoes, tennis rackets, baseball equipment, overnight bags, golf clubs, shoes, golf balls, hats, hunting apparel, and shoes was a complete smorgasbord of little Christmas snickers, M&M's, peppermints, and Smarties. Of course it was also buried underneath the mouse droppings and torn to shreds paper that the mouse had made it's little mouse home in. Wonder how many little mice were born in that home that smelled of mint and chocolate? It's like being in a Starbucks during the holidays. So as I continued to throw things out of the closet and armed myself with a ball bat just in case it really was a rat or perhaps 20, I grumbled about my children and their antics and wondered to myself if mice like chocolate and if it's bad for them like it is for dogs and if my son realized what a perfectly good waste of Snickers we have suffered due to his selfishness.

So I vacuumed up the mess, left everything for him to pick up when he gets home and decided that there is indeed a rat in the basement and he is 14 and approximately 5"10" and on some days intolerable, but on most days, adorable.

Now, if I can only find where he hid his Easter candy...........

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of School

Well, apparently Emma did better than I did today and the rumor is out that I was a mess when I left the school:) When I arrived to pick her up she was sitting at her table eating her lunch and looking rather happy. She also looked pretty happy to see me! So we go again tomorrow and I'm sure she will love it. The teachers said she did great today and seemed very happy. Chalk another big step up for my girl.

I managed to get to the eye doctor and the grocery before picking her up. I have a creepy internal sty in my eye. I am using some eye ointment and may have to take some antibiotics. As long as it gets better I don't care. At the risk of being a whiner, it's driving me nuts.

Okay, So I Ain't that Tuff Afterall

Well, thank God that I have some massive horrible eye infection/irritation that is causing severe watering of my right eye. It is really a blessing in disguise that allowed me to cry all the way out of the school this morning when I left my girl for her first day. Yes, I left her. My original plan was to hang around for a while for fear that they wouldn't understand what she was saying when she had various wants/needs. I gave Miss Renee the information and even though I know she would have been fine with me staying, my gut was telling me the best thing to do was go ahead and leave and that Emma would be fine. My gut was also saying "girl get out of here quick before all the kids see Emma's mom and think she is a total crazy person". So my cyclops eye and I left the building, climbed into my automobile, curled up into a fetal position and cried like a baby. Not really. Skip the fetal position part and just go with the whole cried like a baby part.

Yes, I had to leave the boys for their first days of school and I recall crying, but this was different somehow. They were verbal and could make their every need known and she can't. It's just different this time. She is my last little one. She is a girl. She has been left before and I don't ever want her to think that mom isn't coming back. Somehow that just eats at me.

So here I sit, crying and counting down the minutes until I can go pick her up. Yes, I like to act all big and bad, but really I'm just a sap at heart......I'm about to go to the eye doctor to diagnose my cyclops eye problem and get some much needed relief. As uncomfortable as it has been this morning, it really did come in handy.

She looks pretty happy doesn't she?

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Yes, to borrow from the commercial, it is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. My boys are back at school. Praise Jesus.

Little did I know that they have been scamming me for years. I suspected it, but I just couldn't prove it until today. Now that Brady has his license he's all about needing to get out of the house on time. This is also the first year that Ashton has ever ridden the bus and he has to be at the bus stop by 6:25 A.M. and he was actually out of the house by 6:20 A.M. Brady, being the loving brother that he is, actually drove him to the bus stop on his way to school. Why yes, school doesn't start until 7:45 A.M. and Brady is leaving before 6:30 A.M. and school is only 10 minutes away. His theory this morning was that he wanted to get a good parking spot. Well, considering that the teachers won't even be there yet I suspect parking is fair game. So after all of these years of screaming and begging and pleading and threatening and increasing my dose of nerve medication, my children are indeed capable of getting out of the house early. Not just on time, EARLY. They have suckered me for years and I won't let them forget it.

Little Miss doesn't start school until next Monday. We got a call on Friday making us aware that the preschoolers will start a bit later and that's okay with me. I get to have her all to myself for a few more days and I intend to enjoy it.

So a new school year begins and before we blink it will come to a close like they all do and my boys will be another year older and I hope another year ahead in their academic endeavors. We shall see. It's so hard to believe they are both in high school. It seems like only yesterday that I walked stoically out of elementary school after leaving them for Kindergarten. Of course the minute I reached the doors I cried my eyes out. Where did those years go? They pass way too quickly.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

There is A Light at the End of Tunnel

Okay, so I'm pretty sure that if school doesn't start tomorrow and we don't get on some type of routine at this house pretty soon, I will most certainly lose my mind. This I am sure of.

Ashton goes back for a 1/2 day tomorrow, which I think is so silly. It's a 103 degrees outside and you send the kids back for 1/2 day. Whatever. Brady and Emma will start Monday. Yes, my Emma will start Monday. Of course I will be along for the ride until she gets acclimated to the situation or I decide that I have to get out, which ever one comes first.

I just have to get my life back. My house is pure chaos and I really can't take it much more. Between studying for PALS and getting 200 items ready for a consignment sale, working extra, doing extra camp laundry, taking Emma to speech and just generally trying to survive, I am really ready for life to begin to resemble something normal.

Okay, enough whining.

My daughter is hilarious. She has really begun using her imagination and playing all sorts of things. She has become a dog that I have to lead around with a ribbon on her neck (yes, a choking hazard) and rub her head and tell her good dog while she licks the wall and then bites my clothes. Is this strange? She has decided that her bike helmet and her snow boots are really all you need to make if through a long hot summer. That's it. No clothes, no nothing. Everything is "food". She cooks blocks, tinker toys, Lego's. Just about anything qualifies and of course we have to act like it is the most delicious thing ever.

My daughter has also become a dental Nazi. She insists on brushing her teeth no less than 6-8 times daily and that requires that I do the same. While we brush, we have to put our hands on our hips and do a dance. She looks adorable. Me, not so much.

So, life remains crazy at our house and I don't know if that will ever change. Well, yes it will and then I will miss these crazy days. I'm really torn about sending her to school. I know that she will enjoy it and after I get used to it, it will be nice to go to the store without my helper. And believe it or not, I'm looking so forward to cleaning my bathrooms and mopping my floors without having to stop and tie an apron or put on her helmet or listen to all of the excitement that is "Shaun The Sheep", but I know that I am going to miss her too. She will only be gone for 4-5 hours 3-4 days a week, but she has been under my feet for almost 2 years now and I'm having a hard time sharing her with someone else.

So that about wraps it up at the McGowan home. The highlight of my afternoon is having a haircut, color and lip wax. Yes, I said it. Hormones suck.