Friday, October 22, 2010

Favorite Friday

Looking for a favorite picture on a Friday usually has me looking at last year, this time.  Halloween 2009:  Anna was a "Flower Princess" 

Love the lipstick on her teeth?!

She loved her costume

By the way, what IS a flower princess?

1000 Gifts

11.  nap time quiet and waking her up again
12.  the 3 year old words, "daddy's home"
13.  not knowing whats to come and not needing to
14.  crossing off my 'to - do' list
15.  running in the dark, early morning...
(well maybe its more, when I'm done)
16.  sisters doing an art project together after school, together
17.  sweet love since April 17, 1989
18.  two children who need me in such a profound way
19.  knowing how to take away some of Anna's pain
20.  little hats, little mittens that came out today

okay, so this doesn't fit at all.  This is just homework time/ smoothie time/ snack time one afternoon this week. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Everyday things and color

Anna at her school.

I love the goofy, silly snapshot pictures the best.
Trying to take more of Anna doing her everyday things.  Jumping out of the car right here at the "drop off circle"... she does this every day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just a Wednesday Walk

Fall is my favorite season. 
 I love it for so many reasons. 
Outside without being hot or cold, the cozy evenings, still in the beginning of school (and not yet tired from it all), the colors. 
 I'm trying to be outside as much as possible this October. 
I can catch up on everything else during the cold winter days, right?  So we took a walk and I brought along my camera. 

Just pure Abigail happiness

She was cleaning the grass with the stick...
no, I didn't teach her that!

Just enough fun to tire her out for a nap... ahh

Friday, October 15, 2010

1000 Gifts

I don't know how long it will take, but I'll work on this every Friday until I get to 1,000.  1,000 things to be thankful for.  1,000 ways I've been blessed.  This should be easy but I'll be hard for me voted, "most likely to complain" in my High School Yearbook.

1.   the sound of their giggles upstairs
2.   of soft, warm, skin just after their bath
3.  the way she reads now, for pleasure, not able to put a book down
4.  two, having two, when we thought their might be only one
5.  in anticipation of dinner out tomorrow, uninterrupted with the one I still feel giddy about
6.  fall, the warmth of our house, the dark evenings, coziness I feel in these 4 walls
7.  the soft sound of him reading to them, knowing he's soaking their littleness in
8.  the two trees that take my breath away every morning at her school when I drive in
9.  the one who just found me and curled up on my lap
10.  footie jammies

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On a lighter note

 A few years ago when Anna was 5 and Abigail only 1 we hiked to Heubline Tower. 
Anna loved it so much. 
She loves "distance".
Scott carried our 'non walker' in a backpack all the way up. 
On the way back down Abigail fell asleep.  It was a fun hike. 

So now that Anna is 7 and Abigail 3 we thought no backpack, no jogging stroller, she can walk. 
(and Scott said he wanted to carry her too) 
But she didn't want to walk at all...
so this is what our hike looked like this year. 

Poor Scott, he ended carrying her the whole way

Late afternoon with the sun streaming in.... beautiful!  I love fall!

Check out "yellow weebie". 
(anna's doll that goes EVERYWHERE with us) 
I never would have carried her too. 
Daddy is too good to them. 
Oh boy, if we were alone weebie would have had to walk herself. 

Bad one of Scott and Abigail but I love Anna in this one.  Simple her. 

Too dark and a bit blurry but someone saw us at the top and asked... I love that

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

She made me think

The grandma at the bus stop sure made me think today.  She's very sweet and picks up her first grade granddaughter on Wednesday's.  Since it was such a beautiful, perfect weather day she walked the family dog.  So we chatted about dogs for a while.  And then she started telling me about her dog (not the family dog she had with her at the bus stop but her dog at home) 

"We have a sweet dog but I can't bring her anywhere where their might be other dogs.  He's just not good with other dogs."

"Oh, that's hard," I said chatting back. 

And then she shared her dogs story with me.  If only I could remember the exact words...

"He was found in the street...."she said. 

"He was alone for 3 months the vet thought when they found him.  So that's why he's not good socially.  He really does have a good disposition but he just didn't get the best start in life...."  she added.

"Terrible really.  Isn't it awful that he was left to fend for his own for 3 months?" she added.

And I agreed with her; sympathized with her.  And didn't think anything of it until I saw the bus pull up and my Chinese daughters' face in the window.  And I had to keep from crying. 

I wanted to scream because I'm so mad that that and so much worse happened to my DAUGHTER. 

She was found in the street. 

She was alone at just 14 days old.  She too was left to fend for herself.  Only to be brought to an orphanage to live for the next 14 months.  Those same 14 months that are supposed to be critical for brain development; teaching and hard wiring a brain for feeling love, being able to be attached and so much more.  They are supposed to be held, rocked, soothed, and fed.  Loved on, cared for, and so much more. 

And so when she said, "so that's why he's just not good with other dogs; not good socially.  He didn't get the best start in life."  I thought of Anna. 

What a treasure she is.  She survived.  And she's healing.  Gosh, I sure hope your dog is okay and has a good rest of his life.  But I think I'll just let that go and give my DAUGHTER everything I can.  She may not have had the best start in life but with our love she will be okay.  She will be happy. 

So don't blame me if I want to protect her just a tad more today than I might have if I didn't hear that story.  I think I'll go rock her to sleep...

And some may wonder why I'd share these thought on a blog.  But if you've seen Anna it's no surprise that she was adopted.  No surprise that she was born in China.  And I'm sure it's no surprise that she lived for some time in an orphanage there.  Behind that second grader; behind that happy, making up shows, singing all the time, lovin on her sister daughter of mine she "just didn't get the best start in life." 

So thanks to that sweet Grandma who I love chatting with at the bus stop.  You really made me think and remember. 

our first moment together

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Father Bob

At first I posted this as "there are no words".  Maybe that's true, but now another day I realize that there are many words and maybe I was just taking the easy way out by not telling just a bit of this story.  For it is worth telling. 

You see, when I met Father Bob I was just 18.  I had recently graduated High School and moved to college.  I had everything figured out. I knew what I wanted to be, how to become that.  I was happy but shy.  Fulfilled in my wonderful childhood, but devastated that that part was over.  I didn't know until I got to college and moved in that my mom and dad driving away would be the hardest thing I had ever faced.  I know that sounds innocent but I loved home.  I loved my family, and in those first few weeks there were times I thought I couldn't breathe.  I can smile about that now because God had a plan.  I knew my happy little life was shaken a bit.  I knew I ached from homesickness and longed to just hear my parents voice on the one pay phone in the middle of the hallway. 

And then I met Father Bob.  One Mass and I knew I had found my place on campus.  Yes, others find sororities and drinking buddies; I found my Catholicism in a new a profound way. 

The story is long (19 years now I've known Father Bob) but he has blessed my life in wonderful ways.  I am grateful to him and his gentle direction over those 4 years at college and many beyond. 

Maybe one day I'll have the chance to scan all of the pictures I have of us together and tell more about my sweet journey with him.  For now it simply brings tears to my eyes when I see him with my girls.  How happy I am that he knows them. 

And yes, I know there are hundreds that feel this way about this priest, Father Bob.  Maybe I feel like Scott and I have that special bond after all these years.  Perhaps we do, but I know that is part of (for lack of a better word that I can't find right now) his magic.  Everyone feels this way.  Just 5 minutes with Father Bob and you are blessed. 

So with tears in my eyes, thank you Father Bob for all that you've done, all that you are to me, to all of your "kids" from Wescon, to the many at CUA, and now to the very lucky families at your home parish.  We are so glad you are just a short drive away. 


Father Bob meeting Anna for the first time.  September 2004 at Ryan and Shelia's wedding.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Eosinophilic Esophagitis Support

For those of you that have stumbled on my blog through an EE search I'm going to try to post some helpful tips I've found with food.  There is simply little or no support out there for families trying to create meals for their kids with EE. 
Wouldn't it be a cool idea to create a cookbook based on the "6 Food Elimination Diet" that kids with EE have to go on? 
In some ways Abigail being diagnosed with EE has been a blessing.  My cooking is all from SCRATCH. 
And I've taught myself how to cook. 
It's just as easy (once you get a plan in place... more on planning meals with EE coming soon) as throwing chicken nuggets in the micro. 
Sooo... tonight's dinner is "Sloppy Joes". 
 I used this cookbook which I love. 
My old favorite Slow Cooker cookbook was from Gooseberry Patch. 
It now has dust collecting on it since the recipes often call for 'cream of something soup' or other EE allergy foods. 

I substituted ground beef for lean ground turkey since I make ONE family meal and it needs to meet all of our needs.

My helper
I've heard that getting kids involved in the cooking helps them once it's dinner time. 
Abigail helps me everyday... but it doesn't work!

My best friend
on days when Anna has back-to-back afternoon activities