Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jump Zone Pictures, Random Thoughts and Dreams

Second visit to the Jump Zone! She was just laughing...
Firetruck is Eliza's favorite...
Goes up the ladder all by herself...much steeper than it looks!
Ready, set, go...

A few more random thoughts:

  1. I write way too much in my posts; I need to post more frequently so that there's less to say!...

  2. Kung Fu Panda opens on the big screen next Friday, June 6th so, of course, Eliza and I have a date!...

  3. Hogan is growing into the most handsome golden that I've seen; should we neuter him?...I think, yes...

  4. The gas price is frightening and is seriously impacting our usual summer weekend get-aways; $4.04 to fill up the jeep yesterday...

  5. Eliza loves the piano and violin. She's mesmerized by both instruments. Her hands naturally fall to the keys on a piano...
  6. Which leads me to this, we're probably going to try to list the farm again so we can get a larger house and a piano again (I miss playing myself)...

Our hen, Emma, coming up to tell us she layed her egg!

So, I have been having such vivid dreams since my dad passed away. I was at his side when he died and seem to dream about him every night. My mom says it's because I was w/ him when he passed away. Even though the dreams are happy, I wake up sad. Last night I had a dream that we were all together (mom, siblings, grandkids) for Christmas and we were getting all the decorations out. I came across a box that said, "Property of D. L. Chantry" and it was my dad's handwriting. I woke up and I could see it so clearly, his handwriting. The interesting thing about that dream is that my father lost his ability to write about 4 years ago. I told my mom that in each of my dreams, it's almost as if I'm putting back the pieces of dad that he lost. I don't know why I had a dream about his handwriting...but it was so good to see it...if even in my dream.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Into the summer we swim!

(Good boy, Hogan!...Isn't he gorgeous?)

Memorial Day weekend brought the opening of our pool (the golf club's pool, that is). While the middle of the country was suffering terrible, frightening tornadoes, we actually had beautiful "Carolina" skies and weather. We spent a few hours each day at the pool and Eliza slid right into her love of the water. No fear, no hesitation; even w/ cold, cold water! Of course, that meant I had to go in too! She loves swimming. Every 50 minutes the lifeguards blow the whistle for break time (and adult swim) and it's all I can do to get her out of the water! I didn't bring my camera so no pics. I was amazed and, admittedly a little teary-eyed, at how much she's grown since our first summer together last year. She has gotten so tall that she now wears a 4T in bathing did that happen? Last year, she was in 2T. She is also much more observant of the other swimmers this year. She was watching the bigger kids dive and swim under the water and she'd shake her head "no way, how did they do that?" It was hilarious. Then, she'd stand on the bottom step and hold her arms out in front of her in the dive position; then she'd back up and shake her head no again. I was cracking up. So cute. I just know that she's going to be a great swimmer.
(Helping himself to Dolly, while she's distracted!)

So, on another note, Derek "gave" me a day off from mommy duty on Saturday. Did I spend it going shopping or out to lunch with friends? No, I spent the entire day on the tractor mowing pastures. Ha, ha...You see, pre-"miss E", I was operating a horse farm on this property...boarders, lessons, the upkeep. A big job mind you. I don't miss most of it and I love spending my days with Eliza. But I do miss, some days, the alone time and freedom. So, yes, most days on a day off, I'd like to go shopping or have a girl lunch, etc., but some days, I honestly would rather have everyone leave the house so I can clean uninterrupted. Well, today, I just wanted to get the farm back to looking as picturesque as it used to. So at 7:15 a.m. I got on the tractor and didn't finish until 3:00. Every bit of the 12 acres finished and it looks so gorgeous. I used to spend hours on the tractor in the old days, day-dreaming about what Eliza was going to be like, watching the horses interract. I was a bit melancholy while mowing on Saturday. Remembering my sweet horses that I gave up for Eliza; remembering the waiting time for Eliza. Remembering what it used to feel like to ride all over the farm w/ a young rider next to me, giving a lesson, and knowing inside and out, the buttons on my lesson horses. We have only 2 horses now. Both are retired. As I was mowing, the pastures felt so large and empty. It did feel good getting caught up, but I definitely came inside and thought, that's a job for hubby and son, not mom anymore! Ha, ha, ha...
(Uh, oh...caught!)

Lastly, a few random thoughts: don't forget the senior citizens. We spend our young lives being kids and experiencing Memorial Day holidays at picnics, parades, family gatherings. Then we spend our married years setting up those traditions for our own children and hopefully, our aged parents come visit and share in it all. What about the ones that can't get to their families? My mother reminded me this morning that holidays are sad and lonely for the seniors living in her adult residential community. They feel left out and forgotten. ***I am going to look into how I can be more involved with a senior center in our area.*** I originally, planned on training Hogan to be a therapy dog (when Eliza gets into school). I wanted to take him to nursing homes and children's hospitals. That's still my plan, but in the meantime, I need to do something now. I'll have to think on that...any ideas? Maybe I can just volunteer to read a book to some seniors?
(Notice she's on her feet...mad!)

My other random thought: if you didn't already know, we started the process to adopt again. Have only accomplished the fingerprinting. I haven't collected any other documents yet. Much slower at this the second time around! Anyway, while mowing, pre-"Miss E", I used to see purple butterflies and (of course) ladybugs. So, purple was Eliza's color and I always felt that her spirit was with me when I'd see a purple butterfly. Well, the other day while mowing, I was seeing yellow butterflies and (of course) tons of ladybugs. Hmmm.... Also, my neighbors came over to fish from our pond w/ their stroller and their 3 month old baby. I went out to say hi and noticed that there were ladybugs all OVER their stroller. It was wild. I got chills. I feel a quiet and peacefulness towards this next adoption. It is such a different feeling from Eliza's adoption. Anyway, those are my random thoughts.
(I'm sorry Mom, I really am a good boy.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mischievous, May hail and Lucy Jing!

Okay, how can one child keep me on the go and saying "no" a hundred times a day? I feel like a chicken w/ her head cut off most days. Eliza is fast...she could be sitting quietly reading and the next second, she's on top of something. Why am I so tired at night that often I lavish going to bed the second she is tucked in? Why can't I get a thing done? How did my mom manage to be a stay-at-home raising 10 of us?...These are just some of the thoughts I have on a daily basis. The other thoughts revolve around how totally in love and in awe I am of this child; how funny...and I mean hysterically funny she is; and how much I love being a mom. So, that said, I thought if I shared some photos of the many mischievous "jumping, climbing and helping herself to food" that Eliza has been into these days, someone can help me find the humor, rather than the...let's see: frustration, annoyance, danger... Well, you get what I'm saying. So, here's the photos, in no particular order. And I PROMISE, these are all no-no's, even though my snapping photos probably reinforced that this was cute?!

Next topic: We had hail this afternoon. In a matter of 5 minutes, the temps dropped from 80 to 68; a terrible storm blew in, rain, winds, thunder & lightening and yes, hail! I hate storms as it is because they always get the horses running and I worry that one will slip and break a leg. I hate lightening because we're so exposed and have actually had a tree out in the pasture get hit once. But this afternoon was a first. Watching my 2 hens (Hannah and Emma) run for cover from the hail. It was pitiful. I felt like Aunty Em in the "Wizard of Oz" calling for them to hurry, "'cause it's twistin and turn'in and comin this way". On top of that I had to watch my jeep get pelted, my beautiful gardens get destroyed. Here's some photos (unfortunately, I didn't get any of the hens, I was too busy calling for them...oh, and they're fine, by the way).

Lastly, friends of ours have been in China for the past couple of weeks adopting their second daughter (first was domestic). This time, they adopted an older child; Jing is 8. They wanted their two daughters to be close in age. They've been in the process for over 3 years. So, you can imagine when they started this, they were thinking a child around the years went on and their "desired age" went up, to keep up with their own daughter, they were filled with anxiety and concerns about adopting an older child. They prepared...and never thought they would be so blessed. Lucy Jing is doing wonderfully and they all blended so perfectly. They've had a great time in China. You can imagine what a great gift for Lucy Jing to be able to see so much of her birth country than she probably ever would have. She's going to have a wonderful life with her new family. Eliza and I can't wait to meet her. More on that when the day comes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Roller Derby Princess!

One of my favorite things about being a mom is introducing Eliza to new things. Let's face it, even mom's get bored doing the same hum-drum things every day right, so why wouldn't the kids? At my dad's funeral, my siblings and I spent a lot of time reminiscing and one of the things we all remembered and cherished was...

Mom (or Dad) would back the cars out of my dad's perfectly clean and organized 2 car garage so that we could rollerskate. We'd play the 45 speed records (showing my age) and skate to our favorite song! What fun that was. We'd whip each other around in a chain; we'd play chase; or we'd just pretend that we were Olympic gold medalists in rollerskating.

So, as I watch Eliza grow up... and "grow out" of so many of her toys, I'm constantly looking for something new to entertain her. These days, she's into things that move, running, climbing, jumping and being as close to me as she can. She still enjoys her books, mind you, but sitting and playing w/ toys is not any fun anymore. So, I found these skates and though she looks very serious in these pictures, when the camera wasn't on, she was laughing and smiling. She actually took to them very naturally. She can balance on one skate while lifting one leg high in the air; she can hold onto a chair and twist herself left and right. What a hoot! (Oh, and I do have a helmet & pads...which she will be wearing now that I know she's doing gymnastic moves while skating!)

When I reviewed these pictures, I couldn't get over how grown up she looked to me. Could just be the fact that the skates added about 3 inches to her?! We may have to try the rollerskating rink where big sis likes to go every Friday night...of course, mom would have to put on rollerskates and skate beside her, which could be interesting?! Oh, and I guess they don't use rollerskates anymore, it's blades right; or is it quads...? That shows my age too. Shshhhh!

At today's annual physical...Eliza weighed in at 31.2 lbs and 38 inches tall. Almost at the 75th percentile!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day...for a real mom

5 month old Hogan...
waiting for the man who fills these
shoes to come back outside and play!

Determined to ride the scooter like the big kids!

Helping mom wash dishes...
her favorite thing these days!

So, I'm giving this blogger world a try...that means all you blog experts out there, feel free to help me out when you see my mistakes or struggles! I thought it would be appropriate to start with a Mother's Day entry, so here it is:

I had my first "who's her real mommy" experience. I had read about these discussions; I had even thought I was prepared for how to answer it. When it happens though, I suppose it's never an appropriate time for that "prepared answer". On the flip-side, Eliza did something so amazing while this was happening that it left me glowing through Mother's Day!

So, let me tell you what happened. We were at Chick Fil A, both Mommy, Daddy and Eliza, enjoying some inside playtime. This is our favorite place. So, this boy walks up and asks if I'm Eliza's mommy. My reply, with a warm smile, "Yes." "Is she Indian?" "No, she's Chinese-American" (again with a warm smile, as other parents are listening in). "Who's her Daddy?" Daddy speaks up and proudly claims the role and then tells the boy that Eliza was adopted from China. So, then the boy says, "Where's her real mommy." Now, I'm feeling annoyed. I told him that I'm her real mommy. He argues back, "No, her real mommy." I said, "Do you mean the woman that gave birth to her (realizing that was probably way over his head and immediately feeling embarassed)? He looked at me and said, "Her mother in China. You not her mother." I said, "I am her mother. She is my daughter. Where is your mother?" He paused then said, "When are you going to take her back to her mother so she can see her." YIKES!!!!! I said, "We don't know who Eliza's birth family is. We are her family and we will always be together."

I excused myself from the conversation. I was shaking. I know my face was probably flushed. Wouldn't you know it, in those moments, when you don't think your toddler understands anything you're saying, they can do the most amazing things. During this conversation, Eliza kept coming down the slide and looking for acknowledgement from me at her accomplishment (I'm usually telling her what a good job she's doing, squeeling about how fun that looked, how fast, etc.). So, she came down the slide, came over to me and looked me right in the eyes and kissed me on the lips. She then began doing it every time she came down the slide. She'd come over with the biggest smile, lean in and kiss me on the lips. It was the sweetest kiss! The best affirmation! I don't know whether she understood what we were talking about or whether she was just so happy and realized I wasn't paying attention to her or what...??? But, the timing was perfect and it was also the first time that Eliza had EVER done that, spontaneously. It certainly got all the "awes" from the other parents watching and listening. How 'bout that! That was THE best Mother's Day gift I could've received.