Monday, December 25, 2006

Did you hear her? Was that the fat lady singing or no?

It is over. The holiday we spend months gearing up for is now sealed up with a bow. After our own madness at home with gifts galore we went to my parents house for dinner to exchange gifts with the rest of my family. After all the presents were opened, we sat down to a lovely dinner my mom cooked and I started to finally relax after my holiday gauntlet (click here for post describing said gauntlet).. I marveled at the thought that my cards got out before Christmas, the teacher gifts were meaningful, sweets were baked and delivered, presents were purchased, wrapped and sent on time, and everyone liked their gifts. Even me! It was a good holiday season and as I settled down with a good glass of red wine courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law, I decided it was time for my long awaited post-holiday season relaxation period. A time when I can get back to my crafty, creative, have time to cook dinner self. A few hours later we piled our family into the car to head home. I sat in the passenger seat and closed my eyes and thought, finally, a good night's sleep without a monster "to-do" list hanging over my head. That is when the cute little 3-year old voice poped up from the back seat saying "mommy, how long till my birthday?"

ARRRGGGG!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Phew!

Well I have had a much better day regarding the upcoming holiday. I wrapped most of my gifts, dropped off a dish for a teachers luncheon, delivered gifts to all our teachers, brought in a family tradition activity for my son's class, mailed all my cards, packed up the rest of the gifts that still have to be mailed, and even managed to sponsor a child for Christmas through the Salvation Army. When the kids got home from nursery school we made handprint ornaments for the tree. I feel much better now!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Santa 1: Mom 0

➢ Still have shopping to do.

➢ MS Word ate and then barfed up my Christmas card labels so that each label had the first name of one person, the last name of another person, the street address of yet another person, so on and so forth.

➢ I still cannot locate a few presents I bought back in September and then hid in what I guess is the best damn hiding place on earth.

➢ I got so peeved this morning I actually told my 3 year old that Christmas sucks which he then repeated as a question in his cute little 3-year old voice. Wish I could take that one back!

So as I am walking around my house today trying to keep it in order, and trying to find the time to wrap presents so my kids don’t see and make sure they don’t find the presents before Christmas, something occurred to me. Christmas must have been invented by a man. Why? Because it is yet another thing a housewife busts her ass to do and is something for which she will get no credit. After all the hard work put into shopping and wrapping, baking and giving, smiling and spreading cheer, the children give thanks to a fat man in a red suit.

UPDATE: I think the gods of domesticity were listening. I found $20 in the laundry just now! I know, I know, "don't spend it all in one place!"

Friday, December 15, 2006

Huge Heartfelt Thank you to my Secret Pals!

The last thing I remember was putting the turkey in the oven. After that, everything is a blurr!

All joking aside, I would like to send out a very belated, but very heartfelt thank you to my secret pals. My July Fireflies pal and my CCAI pal are wonderful and I wanted to share photos of the lovely things they sent.

This Ladybug toy was our November gift from my Fireflies pal. It is so cute and I have to keep it hidden b/c L & B wanted to rip it right out of the box. Thank you, Cici will LOVE it!


This brocade jacket was sent by my CCAI pal in November and it is so so so beautiful. Thank you so much. It has dragonflies on it and is going to look beautiful on my daughter!




My CCAI pal has already sent me our December gift of “Socks and Hair Pretties” They are lovely and I am just wild over the bows. I LOVE bows. Thank you so much! L & B would also like to thank you for the chocolate! They love getting sugary treats!

To my 2 wonderful pals- thank you for your generosity and I apologize for the delay in getting my thank you notes out there!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bowling Bonanza


On Sunday we had L's birthday party with 25 of her classmates and friends. We had a load of fun and she got some wonderful and thoughtful gifts.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy LIDversary to US!


Today marks the 5th month anniversary of our LID! I think celebrating the number of months we have been waiting would be more significant if we *knew* how many months we will ultimately be waiting. The CCAA is such a big mystery. I wish we knew more. Nevertheless, celebrating our LID is celebrating our future daughter so I am thrilled to do it every month!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Goodmorning FIVE year old!


L has strutted her stuff into her new world of being 5. She is so proud of her new age and has claimed to have grown last night in her sleep. The cupcakes were a hit at school today and an even bigger hit were the presents waiting for her at home.

Amongst all the things she got, this item topped them all. She's been asking for a Baby Alive Doll for quite some time now. For those of you not familiar with this little gem of a doll, you can feed it special food and water and then it pees and poops into a diaper. She was immediatly ripped from her box and thrust into a doll highchair for her first feeding. Messy is all I am going to say. Hope we move onto something else after Christmas! Nevertheless, here she is in all her glory. Oh, and she has a name...SOPHIA.

We had an early dinner of pasta and red sauce and texas toast from the freezer section by request from the birthday girl. After dinner we had a Princess/Barbie cake which L just loved!




While mom cleaned up they watched L's new Ariel movie and then hit the sack! Even Sophia got a special bed in L's arm chair. Not sure why she's not in L's bed but whatever!


The next big adventure...BOWLING BIRTHDAY PARTY ON SUNDAY.....stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Goodnight 4 year old...

................BIRTHDAY GIRL.............

Tomorrow, NOVEMBER 29TH, is L's 5th Birthday. We've had a great time preparing for all the festivities and she is terribly excited about tomorrow. We spent the evening making cupcakes for her class at school tomorrow. Mom also did her best attempt at a small Princess Cake. Photos of that will be available tomorrow.

Here are Chef L and Chef B making sure the frosting is just right...




L stirring in the red food coloring to make PINK frosting!


Now for the decorating!


Oh they are so PROUD!




THEN DADDY CAME HOME WITH SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR HIS BIRTHDAY GIRL...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Don't Adjust Your Monitor

I am tired of the way my blog looked and have been sitting in bed watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip trying to give it a bit of a makeover. It isn't going that well and I wish I knew what I was doing but I don't so I am winging it. So bear with me as the colors change and text floats in and out of readability.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

Well the day is done and it was lovely. My family came to my house and we enjoyed every minute of it. I just got my daughter off to bed and she was feeling chatty so I snuggled up in her bed and just listened. She decided to tell me all the things she was thankful for and at the end she said, " and I am thankful for China." I asked her why and she said "because of Cici". I thought that was so sweet. She then asked, "do you think Cici has been born?" and I said "actually, no. I think she'll be born soon though." She replied that she thought Cici had in fact been born already and asked if this was true, would she be in the cribs with all the other babies. I guess my not-quite-5 year old HAS been paying attention. She said she thinks Cici was born on November 21st. (queue the spooky music) I'll have to write this down on my list of Cici premonitions.

Now for some fun videos I found on You Tube. The last one you have to link to but it is well worth it, especially if you were the bird handler today!

Cheers!








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WhsxVe5zJ8

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jumping up and Down!!!!

Here is a giant shout out to the world to say CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Meg who just received her PA for her daughter. This little girl is going to be so lucky to fall into the fold of such a lovely family.
This family is going to be so lucky to bring home their daughter soon to revel in all the joy she will bring!

Visit them at http://chinesetake.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Smile Everyone! (yes, me included)

Ok so my last post was a downer. Here is a little lift...

Thursday Night on the Travel Channel at 10 pm is a show called "Trip of a Lifetime". This episode will show a family, who adopted a daughter from China in 2002, going back to learn more about their daughter's heritage. Here is the blurb from the TC website:

"After nine months of paperwork and 14 months of waiting, the family was summoned to the province of Hunan, where they were able to meet Cai and then take her home. Christine and Patrick don’t know a great deal about her past. She was found on a bridgehead at 9 ½ months old and taken to a remotely located orphanage in the Hunan province. The orphanage, Yuanling Social Welfare Institute, is run by a wonderful director who welcomes visitors. In fact, when a friend of Christine’s who adopted from the same orphanage went back to visit, a banquet was thrown in her honor."



Another thing that should make you smile is this:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Calisthenics

Does anyone else feel like the holiday season is like running a marathon? I swear, I start sweating around the 3rd week of October and and downright panting by the 3rd week of December. At our house it goes like this...

10/31 Halloween with all its costume and sugar-high craziness. Nevermind the mindbending control I need to resist my kids chocolate.

11/3 my birthday which always comes with mixed emotions. I got a video iPod from SJ this year and have been the one touting that the "video" part of the new iPods was stupid. Well I take that back. Now I pound out my frustrations at the gym while watching episodes of Showtime's "Weeds". EXCELLENT!

11/? Thanksgiving- always hosted at my house. I usually give into the temptation to go all Martha Stewart and then want to shoot myself in the head. Nuf said.

11/29 L's birthday- never fun in the NE to have children born in the winter months. Indoor parties that cost a fortune only to be repeated or outdone by the classmate before or after you! All forms of originality must be pushed aside for conformity when it comes to winter birthday parties. That SUCKS!

Then comes the mad holiday shopping, the urge to throw a holiday party b/c you think it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but in reality it just causes more havoc in your life, the teacher gifts and all that damn wrapping. For me it all culminates for the grand finale on 12/25 when my husband helps unwrap one of my kids gifts and says "Hey S, look, L got a .....!"

I give him a look of "yeah no kidding " and go wolf down a loaf of cranberry bread.

OOOH I am so looking forward to the holidays!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

At last, we meet!


Well this was a highlight on our whirlwind tour of the South! I find it amazing that I could have such a good time with someone I’ve never met before! It just warms my heart that through the wonderful world of Adoption, I will eventually add a beautiful daughter to my home but will also make incredible friends along the way. Or should I say “along the WAIT!” While on route from my MIL’s house to Disney World, I was able to stop for coffee to meet M from (http://chinesetake.blogspot.com) and her family. Her husband C and their two sons X and H joined us, and amazingly each and every person got along like we had known each other for years. Our kids are pretty much the same ages which was great. In the coffee shop X and H were already sitting at the window bar and my daughter L scooted right in between them and the three of them chatted and laughed like they saw each other every day. It was quite a sight. The minute we got to the DW hotel, L started writing a note to X. She is most defintely charmed! They were both really lovely boys! CW will be so lucky to have such great brothers!

I was so happy to meet M as we have been essentially pen pals for a few months now and I have enjoyed all our correspondence. I loved meeting her and the conversation was fun and easy! I was thrilled to congratulate her on her daughter in person. They are waiting for their TA to get Cai Wai. We have done a fabric and wish swap and the beautiful green and pink princess pattern M gave me will be a special fabric in our quilt.

M, C, X & H- we’d love to see you up in our neck of the woods! Let’s make a plan!

XOXO
S

PS I just loathe these pictures of me. In the spirit of blogging fun, I will let the out into the vapor of the internet b/c I had so much fun meeting M.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Don't cry over spilt milk. ...how about paint?

Well I ***was*** having a productive day until I discovered this.
The kicker is that I did not discover it until I was standing in it. I walked right up to the closet it had been in to get something and then when I tried to walk away my feet didn't move. Wasn't really funny at the time but I can't help but giggle to myself as I type this post. You can imagine my shock when I looked down at my feet and found them in 2 inches of paint. I quickly got the sneakers off my feet and then sat down with a bowl of cereal to calm my nerves and make a plan. Mid-bowl, I realized the first thing I needed to do was take a picture. After that, I would need to confiscate the kids' sand shovels and scoop up the paint back into the bucket. Armed with a pink short shovel and a red scooper along with an entire roll of paper towels and 10 garbage bags I was able to get the entire mess up off the floor. (should I add that I use plastic shovels to clean up paint to next week's Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer?)

Luckily much of the spill was on hardwood. Some spilled on a cat bed that we have in that corner of the room and before I was aware of the spill, I tossed the cat bed across the room so I could get into the closet. Unfortunately the cat bed had quite a bit of paint on it and while traveling through the air it dropped paint all over the rug and then landed in a suitcase full of clean clothes. Luckily most of the paint is on the outside of the suitcase and only clothes that I can live without got damaged. Well I have given up on my productivity for the day as my stride is broken!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

getting ready for the Snow!

We spent this past weekend at my family's house in Vermont. The weather was perfect and the foliage was beautiful. The house is on a ski mountain in Southern Vermont and is a popular destination for people every year for this long weekend holiday. The ski shops have clued into this and do tent sales selling last year's merchandise at a huge discount. We're talking between 50%-75% off ski clothes and equipment. We have gotten in the habit of making this our "inventory" weekend so if anything needs replacing we can try to get it at a discount. (you know how I love my 'deals'!)

L has out grown her ski suit after getting 3 season out of it. So we luckily found this great Spyder jacket and bibs, a Patagonia long underwear top, and a hat that all match AND are the same color as her last suit so her neck warmer matches too!





This is a picture of her suit from the last three seasons which we will save for Cici. For all my Fireflies friends out there, notice the bugs! They are dragonflies but I figure close enough!

Friday, October 06, 2006

1st Trimester

Well today marks the 3 month anniversary of our LID. Our Lidversary. Unfortunately for us it is the third month marker in an undetermined wait time. I am just happy to have 3 months under our belts. I am starting my vaccinations this month. Yeah, no fun! However, it gives me good standing when I bring my kids in for their flu shots to say "mommy just got some whopper shots too!" I have a feeling L won't care who got what shot as long as she can get out of hers. She's been asking me for 6 months what shots kids have to get at their 5th birthday.

This message was brought to you by the letters L, S & B and the number of the day is 3!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

THANK YOU... CCAI SECRET PAL!


Yesterday was just one of those days at home getting little things done around the house. The kids were playing nicely and painting some masks for Halloween so I was able to organize myself for the week ahead. At the end of the day it occured to me that I should check the mail and much to my delight I found a package at my door! Thank you CCAI secret pal (yes, I am participating in TWO secret pal programs cuz I just couldn't resist!) for the very cute panda puppet. My kids immediately went for the panda but I was able to pry them loose with the chocolate you sent! My pal sent very cute chocolates in the shape of ladybugs for L & B. Very very sweet and thoughtful of you. They were delighted to have a treat for themselves!


PS. Regarding the previous post titled "Woof or Oink" I forgot to mention for those of you who are not aware, 2006 is the year of the Dog. I am very much hoping that my daughter will be either a Woof or an Oink. I won't even look up what 2008 will be- just can't go there!

My other kids are a "sssssss" and a "baaa baaa".

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Woof or Oink?

As my close friends and family know, I am a shopper. I loooove to shop and view it as a competitive sport. I don't compete with other people to see who has the nicest stuff, I compete with the retailers to see how discounted I can get THE item I want. So I stalk stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls on a regular basis. A relaxing morning for me is to grab a cup of coffee and do my pre-planned lap around Marshalls.

With that said, I have shown extreme restraint when it comes to shopping for Cici. Yes, I bought the stroller but that was more so out of opportunity than anything else. Not knowing a) how old she will be at referral and b) in what season our referral will come has really prevented me from shopping for her. I feel like I'd get all these clothes and they would turn out to be the wrong size for the wrong season. So I just have not shopped for her.

Last week while shopping for L and B, I found a pair of PJs that I just LOVED in a size 2T. I took one look at them and thought I MUST have them for Cici. They are made by Carters (found at TJ MAxx) and because it is a two piece I figure the sizing can be flexible. As you can see they are a gorgeous pink and green pattern. The eyes and mouth of the pig are black and I think they will be dashing on our Cici with her black hair. I am not particularly drawn to pigs. I like them, they are cute. But the minute I saw these PJs I just grabbed fast and did not give it a second thought. So I bought them. They are the first official piece of clothing I have bought for her. They hang next to my desk where I can gaze at them dreaming of the day she will wear them.




My dh saw them for the first time this morning and I said "aren't they cute?" and he gave me the typical "yep" male answer. Then I said "oh, is there a year of the pig?" and he said "no, I don't think so" and went downstairs for coffee. I then googled the Chinese zodiac and found there IS a year of the Pig (boar) and it is 2007. Hello? Is this a sign? Yeah, I thought so too!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Missing Cici

My daughter LOVES to draw. By the time I get dressed in the morning, I have at least 3 new pieces of art presented to me. She first started drawing buildings. At around 3 years old she specifically loved to draw our house and office buildings. She would proclaim to people that she wanted to be a builder. It was quite funny. A few months later she started drawing people, mostly family members and pets.

As you all know we are waiting for our daughter in China and the timeline seems to keep growing. It is bumming us all out to see the wait lenthen each month. We have tentatively picked the name Catherine for our daughter and will call her Cici. So around the house we refer to her as Cici.

Today L did the cutest thing. She said, "mom, I am going to draw a picture of Cici so if you miss her you can just look at the picture and feel better."

Here is her picture...

Monday, September 25, 2006

August 9th


So the CCAA announced last night that they have matched dossiers received up to August 9, 2005. The batch before this one was from July 14-22, 2005 totaling 8 days worth of dossiers. This batch was 18 days worth of referrals. I was bummed that they did not refer a whole month's worth of referrals (30-31 days) because that is the only way they are going to stabilize the wait which is currently 13-14 months. But when I look at the charts (thanks to M3) the last time they did 18 days was in January. However, RQ's statistics are saying that August 05 was pretty light until the end of the month so I am not sure how to read this 18 days of referrals. Is it a good sign for the future or is it just what they were capable of due to a lighter load of referrals?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


Dear Fireflies Secret Pal,

Thank you so so so much for your gift. I have been wanting these books to add to my collection but have not found them in bookstores near me. I immediately read them after opening your package and lovely note. You are the best!

Love,
S

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Giggles

Referrals are about to drop any day now. I am 2.5 months into what promises to be a VERY long wait for our daughter and the dragging of CCAA feet is starting to bother me. I had hoped to see signs of a speed up soon after our login to at least keep the wait at 12 months but so far it keeps extending beyond that. At the rate they are going, our referral will come in about 3 years. The thought of that makes me so so so sad.

Each month on the eve of referrals, I like so many others think, "this is it, we are going to see something hopeful this month" and we are all disappointed each time that the CCAA isn't moving towards referring full months of LIDs. So here I am once again, on the eve of referral time wanting to hope but putting on my armor instead. When I need to cheer myself up, I go here. It ALWAYS brightens my day!

Friday, September 08, 2006



I awoke to the sound of my phone ringing. Sound asleep on my side with my 7 months pregnant belly taking up most of the bed, I knew that only important phone calls came at this time of the morning. I had stopped working and was preparing for the arrival of my first child by eating, eating and sleeping. I did an akward craw to the phone and actually managed to grab it before it went to voice mail.

My friend Stephanie's voice came through the phone. She sounded deeply saddened as she told me a plane had accidentally hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. I wrestled myself awake knowing a tragic thing had happened and should go and turn on the TV. Infact, that was what she kept saying to me, "Turn on the tv, turn on the tv." Then she screamed that another plane just hit the other tower. "Oh shit" was all I could think. Not once did I think terrorism. I thought wackos. I thought of the people on the planes. I thought of the people on the 20 or so floors in each tower that had just been killed by this carnage. I pulled myself together and went downstairs. It was now just past 9 am and I am thankful for my TIVO. I had a season pass to the Martha Stewart Living show which then aired at 9 am on CBS. Instead I got the CBS morning show which was interviewing a person who had full view of the towers when the second plane hit. This person was on the phone with Bryant Gumble and in the middle of explaining what he saw of the first plane, then said that there was another plane coming. He gave a second by second account of what he was seeing including the second crash. We still have this recording on out TIVO and watch it every 9/11. We have also put it on DVD for our children to see one day.

All I could do was sit on the floor rocking my large belly hysterically crying. Then the pentagon was hit. Then I got scared. My husband called and said he was leaving his office in downtown Boston and coming home. I called my parents and woke them up on vacation in San Francisco. They both grew-up outside NYC so this was going to be particularly tough on them.

When the towers fell I think I went into a shock. By this time there was much talk of terrorism, of other cities getting hit, of the possibility of chemicals. I was truly scared. I was pregnant and scared. This was my first baby and I will tell you now, she was really, really, really, hard to get. The talk of chemicals terrified me and I started to get frantic, wanting to get away to a safer place. But where was that safer place?

Then it hit. We live in Boston. We just moved back from NYC. Was anyone we know on the planes, in the towers, near the towers, at a meeting in the towers. Well it came to pass that of all the people we know and love, there were a few close calls but no tragic losses.

I spent much of that day on the phone with my friend of 15 years, Stephanie. She was equally terrified as she was home nursing a 4-week old baby boy. Her father had flown in that morning from the west coast on one of the planes that then turned around and flew into one of the towers.

A week earlier, at my 7th month check-up, a nurse accidentally told me the gender of the baby I was having. I was so pissed. I did not want to know. I wanted to have the experience in the delivery room of the OB saying "its a....". In my usual manner, I unloaded my disappointment on my friends and family only to hear them say "OK- so what are you having???" I told them at least if I was not going to have the experience I had been looking forward to, I was going to let my husband have the experience of coming into the waiting room to say "Its a ....". So I kept quiet about the fact that I was having a girl, much to the dismay of my mother who had been dying for me to find out all along.

In my family, I am the 5th generation of first born girls. I am the eldest, my mother is the eldest, her mother is the eldest and so on. It was going to be really special for my mother to see me have a girl first. I was very set on no one knowing that I was having a girl. I at least wanted to keep that secret. However, a few days after 9/11 my parents were still in San Francisco and needed to get home. On an airplane. When they finally got rebooked on a flight, I spoke with them nearly every hour the day before they left. I was so scared to have them get on a plane. I needed my mother by my side as I had my first child. She is my best friend and I could not imagine life without her. A few minutes before I knew they were leaving for the airport, I called her. We both cried feeling this new-found fear of air travel. Then the words came out of my mouth, "I can't let you get on a plane not knowing..."she interrupted me knowing what I was doing and said "no! don't tell me. It is important to you to keep this a secret until ..." I interrupted her saying "I'm having a girl. I need you to know you are having a granddaughter." She kept my secret all the way through until L was born. We did steal out in secret to go buy pink things though.

Each year the week of 9/11 I bring out a few things I have tucked away in a drawer. The Time magazine from that week. A few newspapers I saved and some books I bought as remembrances. We watch our TIVO recording from that morning and I watch the names being read on TV. I am still struck with so much pain from that day. It is still so fresh for me. My heart and soul goes out to families and friends who did lose loved ones that day. I will never forget.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Belgium et Provence

We are finally home after a very long journey by plane, train and automobile! We are totally jet lagged and were up at 4 am this morning.

So the trip was WONDERFUL! The best way to describe it is that it was an adventure. Here we are on the train from Paris to Brussels after a long overnight flight.




We had a day to ourselves in Brussels where we visited Le Musee des Beaux Arts, a beautiful Gothic Cathedral and the gardens outside the Royal Palace. Here the kids are enjoying the parc.

The wedding in Belgium was incredibly special and something like I will never experience again. It was held in the Brussels Town Hall at La Grande Place, one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen in all of Europe.

The ceremony was half in French and half in English. Afterwards we took a bus to a lovely hotel for a luncheon for 300. It was very elegant and quite relaxing. A bit afraid they would not be serving anything the kids would like, we grabbed them a quick waffle on the way to the bus.
Here is B toasting with daddy...



The reception out at the Chateau was magical with cocktails in the gardens (oh but first we were introduced to the babysitters with whom we could leave our delightful children) and then dinner and dancing inside a three-tiered room with stone walls and a farmhouse feel.

As it turned out, we were unaware that the bride's family is Jewish which became clear when the first dance was the Hora and lasted well over an HOUR! The poor bride was jelly by the end but it was a load of fun. During the reception the Bride's father made a toast in 4 languages, French, English, Italian and Spanish. He talked a lot about the history of the Jews in Europe and the movement from country to country his family and ancestors have had to make during their lives. He ended by thanking the American's in the crowd for the role of the US during WWII and in particular Matt's uncle (Matt is SJ's friend and the groom) who died in Belgium fighting the Germans. The whole thing was incredible.

The next morning was painful however. Up at 6 am to catch a taxi to the airport to fly to Provence. We made it though and had a great week in the South of France. We had a cute little apartment and drove around all week taking in the sights. There are tons of Roman ruins there from the time the Papacy was located in Avignon. We did markets and hilltowns and of course ate lots of baguette. Our favorite places were St. Remy, Gordes, Chateauneuf du Pape, & Avignon. We had a few not-so-favorite places which we found to be incredibly touristy and if any of you decide to hit the south of france (Chrissty!) I'll give you a good guide of where to go and where not to go! We did a bunch of touring around the wine areas as well and learned a bunch of stuff about French wines we did not know. A big disappointment for us was the food. Because it was August - the vacation month- many good restaurants were closed leaving the towns teaming with cafes that were a rip off and served pretty bad food. So it took us a few days to figure out when to eat at the apartment and when to eat out. We finally figured it out but I will say that we had only 1 great meal in our 6 days in France and that was in Avignon. I did a lot of cooking which was fine because we could lounge around the apartment eating cheese and pate and drinking wine.

The kids had a ball. They ate new foods - shannon finally broke down on the "no-red-meat" rule and they ate (and LOVED) steak. The really cool thing about France was that in most towns there is a carousel that starts up around 3 pm. They have chairs around the ride for the parents to lounge as the kids get their kicks. They do this thing where the ride operator dangles a bunch of yarn over the kids as they ride (albeit a bit dangerous) and whoever grabs the yarn of the clip gets a free ride. Took my kids no time to figure that one out.

So pictures. Well as it turns out, I took 327 pictures. I will put more up on the More Pickles site.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Dilemma

I just went to make some sun tea and found my plastic wrap completely mangled and destroyed. All summer I have been making peach iced tea by leaving the pitcher outside in the sun and to protect the tea from bits of leaves etc. I cover it with plastic wrap. My husband fell in love with the peach tea and started making it when we ran out. He was the last to make tea and seems to have had a bad encounter with the plastic wrap and neglected to tell me to pick up more.

DILEMMA
Does the joy that a husband knows how to make Peach Sun Tea outweigh the annoyance that he ruined the plastic wrap and did not tell me to get more??

I'm thinking it does, so I'll let te plastic wrap thing pass.

LOL

Thursday, July 27, 2006

HUGS FOR M3

At a time when I am usually stalking the internet for referral joy, I have to say that for the moment I am feeling sad. A person I have been following for quite some time now (and most of you have too, I am sure) missed the cut off by one day. ONE FREAKING DAY! So this post is a shout out to Mary-Mia who has been waiting SO SO SO long for her baby and I so wished she was getting a referral this week.

Mary-Mia's "Do They Have Salsa in China" was the first major china adoption blog I found last fall when I started thinking about adoption. I, like others, stalked her site without posting but merely enjoying her endless humor. Then we ran into what we thought was a snag in our plans to adopt so without knowing where to turn I emailed M3 and she got back to me right away with as much info she had on the issue that had come up. We have since resolved that issue but I have such a special place in my heart for M3. I am feeling her pain today. The good news is that, she is, without a doubt, NEXT!

XOXOX to you M3!

S #8

***Please note: I am happy for all of you who did receive your stork alert and will be stalking your referrals as they show up! Especially NOvary who missed it by one day last time! ****

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Last but not least, the good!

For those of you who have not been here, Nantucket is one of the most beautiful places to visit. Children and adults alike revel in its splendor. Here are a few shots from our stay here on the Grey Lady.

This is one of the two slow ferries that shuttle cars and people from Hyannis to Nantucket. We are sitting on Jetties Beach where there is a great sandbar at low tide and we can watch all the great boats coming and going!






Last monday the Spirit of Massachusetts came to the island and here she is either just cruising around or taking guests out on a special sail. She will be open to the public sometime soon for viewing.


Here are the famed cobbled streets of downtown Nantucket. The story goes that as whaling ships brought whale oil to England they needed a heavy cargo for the way back. They loaded up cobblestones from England and brought them back. As they were unloaded here on Nantucket the town's people decided to start paving roads with them.

Now the town has some of the best shopping in the world tucked away in little boutiques that line these beautiful streets. Not cheap so I mostly window shop!




I did buy a little scallop shell charm from a woman who has been a jeweler here for as long as I can remember. Kim England now has a prominent place on Main Street for her store called Diana Kim England Goldsmiths. Nearly 30 years ago, when she was working in Silver, my mother brought me in at the ripe old age of 5 to have her make me a bracelet. It is a simple hammered silver bracelet with a hook closure. I wore it until it left marks in my skin and had to take it off to save for another day. Well this day has now arrived. My daughter is wearing it this summer for the first time. She is 4.5 and it is beautiful on her. When the day comes that it is too small for her, I hope we will have our little sister here ready and waiting for that silver gem!

What could be better than blueberries in July. Blueberries on a cute little boy!

Now for the Wierd

Ok now for the wierd. For some reason my daughter got bored at the beach today- huh? How is that possible?? She insisted on getting out of her suit and into a dress while everyone else was still in the water having fun. Here she is being wierd- I think she thought this was better than sticking her head in the sand!

The Good, the Wierd and The Ugly!

Yes, I know it should be the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly but there is nothing "bad" here on Nantucket- well perhaps the yellow Hummer that nearly ran me over and the little white car that darted out from a side street trying to get me today- they would be bad and should be reported here. Besides those things, nothing bad here.

However, I will start with the UGLY because since Nantucket became so popular and accessible with the airport it attracts what my brother calls real estate whores. Here is a prime example...
This is the house we used to rent with our family as kids. From pre-school age through college, we spent many summers here. We shared the house with another family through most of those years but when we were teenagers my brother and I were allowed invite tons of friends so it was always a good time. Oh wait, no not that house in the foreground- there is a bigger one in the back. Oh wait, you can't see it? Yes, that's right b/c they put another HOUSE where we used to park cars! SUCH A SHAME! My brother referred to it as whoring out land today and that is exactly what it is. Here is another view. As you can see the new house is just a few feet from the larger house. If you look on the right side of the larger house you can see a room that is windows on 3 sides. We used to call that the sunroom b/c it had no curtains and got really hot. Well, we should be calling it the moon room now b/c the new house is so damn close that if anyone gets dressed in either house on that side all you'll see is a full moon- kinda like this one.