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Showing posts from August, 2011

"We wanted you more than anything."

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When I got home from yoga class last night (around 8:30 or so), my daughter was in bed, reading. I went in to give her a kiss and tuck her in. As I got closer, I noticed a tear sliding down her cheek.  Then I saw what she was reading. It was the storybook I made a few years ago when we had the big adoption talk with her.

"Why are you crying, sweet girl?" I asked. I was almost afraid to ask, because I sensed that it wasn't the usual "Dad wouldn't take me to Dairy Queen" stuff.  I inhaled slowly and held my breath for a moment.

"Because I can't see J," she replied.  Tears immediately sprang to my eyes. I scooped her up and held her in my arms, rubbing her back with one hand and smoothing her freshly-washed curls with the other. I told her that J, her birthmom, lives far away but that I'm sure she will see her someday.

"If you want, you can write her a letter and I'll mail it to her," I offered. She nodded. 

I do have period…

Back to Schooooool

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School starts on Thursday.  My baby will be in first grade. I'm excited to see what she will learn this year, how she will change and grow. What I'm not looking forward to: filling out paperwork. I understand the need for the emergency contact forms but some of it feels a little like overkill.  Maybe it seems worse than it is because I also have to fill out a lot of paperwork for Kindercare (where A goes for before and after school care). Last week I had to submit FIVE forms in order for Kindercare to drive my kid the mile or two to school each day. I am not exaggerating - I counted them. I can only imagine how daunting all of this must be for parents who have multiple school-age children.

I stupidly waited until after our vacation to buy school supplies.  I guess I just don't like to think about summer ending until it's actually over. I did pick up a few items when we were on vacation and happened to be in a Dollar General store, but I figured I'd wait until we g…

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

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I am drowning in dirty laundry and piles of unopened mail, but I thought I'd take a quick moment to update my blog. In short, we had a fabulous vacation at the lake. My wee baby sister and her family drove up from Oklahoma and we met at a Shell station in the small town closest to the cabin. It's impossible to explain to someone how to get to the lake (miles of winding dirt roads), so our best bet was to have them follow us the rest of the way there. They had actually arrived the day before and camped nearby. They also brought a bunch of ATVs to ride. Did I ride one? Yes, I did, albeit briefly. Now you are probably wondering if I've been abducted and replaced with a pod person.

My daughter was so excited to spend time with her cousins (as well as her aunt and uncle, of course).  My nephews (ages 2 1/2 and 4) spent a lot of their time smacking each other (I guess this is what happens when kids are sixteen months apart and are, well, boys).  At one point we all went swimming…

Peace and quiet . . . or something like that

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We're embarking on a little vacation tomorrow. Don't make plans to rob us while we're gone - we do have someone taking care of our house and our ninja cat while we're on vacation. I'm pretty sure she will be armed (our pet sitter, not our cat, although I'm reasonably certain that Ella Fitzkitty would gladly pack some heat if given the chance). We're doing our annual cabin-by-the-lake trip (a very nice friend lets us use his cabin every year). My wee baby sister and her clan will be joining us. I keep thinking, "Ahhh, can't wait to relax" and then I remember that we'll have a two-year-old, a four-year-old, and a six-year-old there. There's a nice little brew pub where we usually eat when we're at the lake, and I just keep picturing the wait staff frantically playing rock-paper-scissors as we approach to see who gets stuck with our table.

My sister found out yesterday that she is having another boy.  So, we'll have two more boys …

Redneck gardener, c'est moi

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Last year, a green-thumbed co-worker gave me a tomato plant.  She told me it would yield big tomatoes, the slicing kind. I put the wee plant in a huge terra cotta planter on my deck and watered it dutifully. I spent half the summer feeling like the world's most inept gardener, because the plant was only delivering little tomatoes. I had no earthly idea what I'd done wrong. Finally, I realized that they were Roma tomatoes (thanks, Google Images!) instead of the big ones (simple plant mixup, apparently). I happily chopped them up into sauces and anything else I could think of. This spring, I decided to try the tomato experiment again, this time buying a variety that promised big ones.  I had dreams of a huge slice of homegrown tomato on my tofurkey on sourdough.

I bought a tomato plant at a local gardening center and installed it in the terra cotta planter.  I jabbed a metal tomato cage into the dirt to support the plant as it grew. Voila!  For the next few weeks I babied the p…

Grey Muzzles

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On Sunday night I decided to cap off the evening with a hot bubble bath. P was working and the kid was in our room watching "Ramona and Beezus." I took this opportunity to finish reading "Dog Town," a book about the pooches who live at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. I had been trying to finish the book for weeks, but every time I sit down to read, it seems like the short person who lives in my house has a VERY URGENT need for me to: pour her some juice, get a knot out of her shoelaces, get her a popsicle from the freezer, and so forth. But finally, I had a few minutes to myself.

The last chapter of the book covers the story of Mr. Bones. Mr. Bones was a mixed breed dog who came to the sanctuary from Puerto Rico. He was extremely dog-aggressive (an attitude that had served him well on the rough streets where he was found) and had to live in a run by himself at Best Friends. As is often the case with dogs that don't like other dogs, Mr. Bones had a …

Taking a breather

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I saw that image on Regretsy last week and had to laugh. How could it not occur to someone, before creating gigantic words and permanently affixing them to a wall, to check the spelling first? Although I'm generally a good speller (one of my very few talents in life), there are a few words that tend to elude me. "Hors d'oeuvres" is one of them. On the rare occasion when I need to use it, I look it up.  Or, more commonly, I just write . . . "appetizers" instead. Rock on.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I've been struggling a bit lately with my stress level. My brain cannot rest. I go to yoga regularly and I can quiet my head for a few minutes while I'm there, but the world comes rushing back in as soon as I walk out the door after class. My job's been a bit challenging lately, so there's that. As you may recall, I also devote a lot of my time, on a volunteer basis, to a rescue organization.  I do this willingly, of course, but lately I'…

The Fair

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We went to the state fair last weekend. After the fair (which is held a couple hours away from our home), we stayed overnight with some friends who were kind enough to host us in their home.

We arrived at the fair at around 10 a.m. We headed to a vendor expo building first because it gets really crowded as the day goes on and we wanted to get it out of the way early. The building is packed with companies hawking magical mops and amazing! fantastic! knives and onion choppers. I have actually been tempted by some of the mops (which promise to solve all of my housework challenges) but have no interest in toting one around all day. I bought some soap, some bug spray that was touted as being the end to all mosquitoes everywhere (active ingredient: catnip oil. no lie), and a gift for my unborn nephew. Did I tell you both of my sisters are knocked up? My middle sister is expecting her offspring first, and we already know the baby has a penis. My wee baby sister will find out about her fetus …

Too old for this, too cool for that

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The school year begins in a few short weeks, so I've begun buying some of the stuff my daughter will need for the coming year. She needs shoes, so I took her to a shoe store after work on Friday. When she was a toddler and was just learning to walk, I bought all of her shoes at Stride Rite because I wanted to make sure she had the proper fit for her first fledgling steps. Now that she is six and beats the shit out of her shoes no matter what brand they are, I've gotten a little more frugal about the whole thing. I couldn't help but notice that $40 shoes get just as scuffed up as the ones from Payless. Hence, we headed there on Friday. I had been waiting for the BOGO sale because the kid needs two pairs of tennis shoes - one that stays at school (for gym class) and one for at home.

Immediately, she spotted these:

And then started speaking in tongues.  "Shake it up, ohmomiwanttheseshoespleaseihavetohavethem, something something shake it up something oh please please pl…

Making Amends

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My lovely niece, she is depressed. She can't believe I didn't mention her in this blog entry. In my defense (paper-thin though it is), I did write about A's cousins in that piece but couldn't get the wording quite right and ended up deleting that passage. A certain seventh-grader from Northern Virginia most certainly took notice of this omission.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the world's most fabulous niece. You see, I am hopeful that she will become a veterinarian someday and that I will receive free vet care for the rest of my life. I must remain in her good graces.

The awesomeness that is my niece:
She was born in 1998, becoming the first grandchild in the family. At birth, she looked just like her father.  However, now she looks just like my sister (except blond). She seems to have received a hefty dose of the "tall, skinny" DNA that missed me entirely. I am pretty sure she will be taller than I am soon, even thou…