Girl Power

Leap and Leap


Years ago my dear friend Heather made up a dance for her daughter Viv... we call it the "leap and leap and leap and leap and bow and thank you."  The dance is simple... you leap like a ballerina five times, take a bow then blow kisses.  I had fun teaching it to Maisie when she was a baby and now Maisie is teaching Juliette the fine art of leaping.  However, in traditional Maisie form... she's added some of her own sweet moves to the routine.  They include the "Celine Dion" where you thump your chest, raise your arm to the heavens.  She's also has moves like the "Starfish" the "Puffer Fish" and the "Lady Bug."   Let the dancing begin !

100 Days of School


Friday marked the 100th day of the school for Maisie.  I volunteered in her classroom as the kids did all sorts of 100 day activities... mostly math related.  They sorted snacks by picking out 10 items from 10 trays.  They made graphs with their names and color coded them... and read 101 Dalmations.
I feel quite fortunate to have the time to be with Maisie and watch her interact with her fellow classmates.  She's come very far in these first 100 days in elementary school.  Coming from a Montessori background, it was hard for Maisie to transition into traditional learning.  But she's finally realizing that there are rules to follow and expectations to be met.  Her free spirit fights against these rules... she knows she's supposed to follow them, but sometimes she just can't help herself.  She is now reading on a 4th grade level.  Her math skills are quite high as well.  I'm so proud of my 1st Grader !!

The Future Needs a Big Kiss

To say that I LOVE U2 is an understatement.  Their music inspires me.  Their politics inspire me.
Their spirituality inspires me.  With that said, what really makes me happy about this band is that they inspire my 6 year old.  Every morning, as I'm driving her to school she asks me to hit track 6 on "No Line on the Horizon"... and we JAM... Get on Your Boots ! 

The future needs a big kiss
Winds blows with a twist
Never seen a moon like this
Can you see it too?....

Here's where we gotta be
Love and community
Laughter is eternity
If joy is real.

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Daddy's Home !!

It's always a joyous occasion when Dad comes home from work.  The dogs hear him first.. his car pulling up... they start barking.. which makes Juliette run to the front door and wait.  I'm not sure who is more excited that he's home... Juliette or Flora.  Usually both girls run for the door, but Maisie decided to hide from dad and surprise him with her "pinkalicious" look !!  Always a happy part of our day !!

Paint Lady

I have a new job title:  Painter.  Over the next couple of months I've been tasked to spruce up our house to make it sale worthy.  I started in the master bath... where I've lived with wood trim for 7 years.. I've always wanted to paint it white to brighten it up... can't believe I waited until now to do this project.  Stay tuned for the before and after!

Celebrate Adoption

November is National Adoption Month... but we celebrate this blessing every single day.  Our children are gifts.  Two beautiful souls who were meant to be with us.  I am a mother whose children were born in my heart.  Since becoming a family, I have endured questions like:  "Where did you get her?"  "How much did you pay for her?"  "Are you her real mother?"  All of these questions were asked in front of my children.  How do you think this makes them feel?  Maisie is beginning to get these questions at school too.  It's an important reminder for me as her mother to supply her with the information she needs to know so that she feels good about herself and her family.  Everday, I try to lift my children up and tell them they are important.  That they can do anything they set their minds too.  I remind them that families come together in different ways... and it's okay to be different.
I'm attaching links to books that help explain adoption to children.  I also encourage people to also read "The Lost Daughters of China.".. a complete insight to the plight of orphans living in China.
Finally, I implore that people open their minds and hearts to the orphans of this world.  They are children who need love, nurture and a chance to reach their potential.

Celebrate Adoption

Breakfast & Lunch

I'm sitting here writing listening to Juliette sing "Oh Christmas Tree.. Oh Christmas Tree..."She's happily playing with Barbies.  Maisie is in her reading corner with her nose in a book.  A lazy Sunday that allows me time to reflect on our lives as a family.  Maisie is becoming quite the big girl, insisting this morning on making breakfast.  We had scrambled eggs and biscuits with cinnamon and sugar.
Juliette watches EVERYTHING her big sister does, soaking it all in.  Because Maisie is such a "take charge" girl, she's happy to play the role of teacher.  It gives her the ultimate freedom to be bossy.
Juliette... forever the happy pupil just follows the lead.  I hope as Jules grows, she'll start to realize that she doesn't have to do EVERYTHING her sister tells her to do.  That day will come !

Lots of Laughs

I love it so much when Maisie and Juliette have fun together.  Their laughter makes my heart melt and it's so much better than bickering and playing the "mine" game !! 
Such pretty smiles !

Flashback Friday

In the beginning....

Office View

I've had the great fortune of being able to work this week from my friend's beach house.  Have laptop will travel.  I consider myself part of the "mobile office" workforce that was recently featured in the New York Times.  More and more people are saying goodbye to the cubicle and hello world.  The only problem with my "job" is that the pay is lousy.  But the perks are fantastic.  I make my own hours.  I can wear a sweatshirt to the job.  And I have a feline companion to keep me company as I continue to research, write grant proposals, set up blogs and websites and plot and plan our global adventure.

Take Flight.

When anxiety sets in, it's a natural response for me to fight or flight... I usually choose the fight.  During these moments, I often forget to step back and listen to that inner voice that is telling me to "simmer down".
It was during one such moment today when both girls were being "snarky" and demanding and crying that I happened to open an email from my husband and it made me immediately reflect... and slow down.
Here are the words of wisdom that were passed on to him today:

 Define your intentions and commit.
 Go into Nature and Ask for Divine Guidance.
 Outline your steps.
 Take Action.
 Embrace Community.  It is going to take help.
 Be of Service.
 Allow everything to change.

 Allow everything to change.

I've defined my intentions and committed.  I'm going outside to immediately have a conversation with the woodpecker that lives in our tree.  Tomorrow I will outline my steps and begin to take action.
I've already said that I will be an agent of change.  I told that to the "higher ups" at the TV station the day I left.  Corporate America wasn't amused.  I feel sorry for Corporate America.  Because I will be of service and I am willing to allow everything to change.  It's already happening.

Beach Babies

Wow... it's January 18th... and we're at the beach !!  I took the girls on an "adventure" this afternoon where Mother Nature did not disappoint... we found miles of shells and lots of starfish.  We collected the shells... (tossing back the ones that had a critter living inside)   It was fascinating.  We found horseshoe crabs and TONS of starfish.  We attempted to make sand castles... but that didn't last long because there was too much to be discovered.

It's not that I forget what an amazing part of the country we live in... but that I don't take advantage of all that is offered around me.  That my friends, is going to change !!  What a wonderful day of discovery in my own backyard.  One that I am fortunate to share with my two beach babies.

Children of the World

It's offiicial !  We've begun making plans to travel the globe !! We're meeting with our real estate agent tomorrow and hope to put our house on the market in the spring.  This is so exciting, but we have so much work to do to make our dream come true.  Our plans will take us to Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa.
We will be home schooling the girls part of the time, and hope to settle down at times to enroll them in school.
All of this of course hinges on the fact that our house sells.

At this point in our lives, this kind of adventure makes perfect sense.  A journey that will take us back to our roots while at the same time teach us so many wonderful lessons about being global citizens.  I invite everyone to be a part of our journey and learn with us along the way.

ET Comes Home

What to do with children on a rainy Saturday afternoon ?  Following my best friend Deb's suggestion, we rented ET.  I hadn't seen it since it first came out and it was fantastic to be able to watch it with my girls.
Juliette was mesmerized by the little guy.  A flood of memories came back for me.  My favorite moment in the movie is when Gert sees ET for the first time... LOVE the screams !
The movie is more than a Hollywood masterpiece... it's a movie with a message.  It's about making friends with someone who is different from you... it is about compassion and love of family.  It's about helping the lost find their way in this world.  Life lessons that can always be used to pay it forward.  ET is a great springboard for me to talk to my kids about acceptance and kindness.  And for some weird reason, the movie also makes me want to go to the store and buy Reece's Pieces :)  I have a craving. 

Retro Friday

A look back to 2002 before embarking on parenthood.  Oh the carefree days !  Who are those youngsters?

It Takes a Village

Mondays and Thursdays are spent with Juliette doing occupational, physical and speech therapy.  Today Maisie got to join in on the fun, helping her little sister strengthen her body and mind.

I am thankful for the village of people who help my family on a daily basis... especially the kind and caring therapists who work so hard to improve Juliette's life.  Jules has had her own "team" of professionals since day one in the US... from eye surgeons, to the BEST pediatrician we could ever have on our side.
One year ago, our little girl couldn't chew, her physical core so weak she couldn't lift up her head while laying on her tummy.  You'd never know that now.... and that is a direct result of our village.   Thank you to everyone who has a part in lifting our child up.

On this day, when so many lives have been lost in Haiti... and the suffering continues...  Maisie and I decided to be part of our global village and donate to Water Missions International...(she gave her tooth fairy money) a fantastic relief agency that makes it possible to have clean drinking water all over the world.  For more information about the vital work they do go to this link.

An Interview with Maisie

Maisie is home from school with a bit of a fever, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to put my old reporter skills to use.  Here goes:

Q:  Who do you like to spend a lot of time with ?
A:  I like to spend a lot of time with Eliza because I like her and she's my best buddy from pre-school.

Q:  What do you want to be when you grow up?
A:  I want to be a scientist... one who discovers DNA or something like that.

Q:  Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
A:  China.

Q:  When was the last time you laughed out loud ?
A:  When you were asking me these questions.

Q:  Why don't you clean up your room?
A:  I have no idea.

Zest for LIfe

This was the turning point in my life... on July 25, 2009 at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland while at the U2 concert.  A moment when I knew that there was more to me than sitting in a cubical producing local television.  Don't get me wrong... local TV served me well over the years.  I've interviewed Presidents and movie stars, been in police chases, brought down the "bad" guys, traveled in a C-17 coast to coast.  I've gone to Europe, reported on serial killers, military homecomings, witnessed some of the greatest sports moments in history.  I was a crime reporter for many years. I've seen horrible things.  But I've also witnessed the miracle of humanity... and how important it is to be an agent of change.

Okay, so back to my turning point.  There I was, listening to a band that truly inspires me both musically and politically.... I was in Dublin... the homeland of my ancestors...when I realized that I needed to change my life.  I needed to become more involved in this world.  Already bitten by the travel bug, I began to have these crazy thoughts of quitting my job, selling everything off... and taking the family on the road to become global students.  No... it wasn't the Guinness talking.. it was my inner soul whispering to "carpe diem"... it was my yearning for a simpler life free of the trappings of over commercialization and consumerism.  That whisper has since become a scream.  A sound that I am no longer ingoring.  So here I am.  A 47-year old mother of 2 young girls, a "retired" journalist, a wife who is house poor but rich in her surroundings... and I'm about to shake it up... BIG!  The world is about to become our oyster.  And along the way, I plan on doing a lot of good !!  I've already quit the job.  And now I spend my days plotting and planning our family escape to travel the world and teach my two beautiful daughters that NOTHING is impossible when you put your mind to it.
Stay tuned !!

Monday Morning with Juliette

After 25 years in a newsroom, I've traded in my reporter/producer hat and am now wearing the "Mom" hat. I love the fact that as a mom I am now able to be in school with my girls as they experience new and wonderful things. Today, Juliette got up close and personal to lizards, snakes, turtles and even an alligator. She LOVED every single one of them. It's great to see how she interacts with her classmates and her teachers... although when I'm with her she tends to be a bit clingy. Her teacher assures me the moment I leave she navigates her way around her social circles... that's my girl !!

Tea & Toes

A lazy Sunday afternoon spent playing in the backyard, enjoying a hot cup of tea.... then warming up with a "spa day" complete with pedicures. That's what I call a good Sunday.

Staying Warm

Saturday morning is always fun... parents get to "sleep in" and girls get to watch cartoons and eat pancakes ! Since it's so cold outside we spent the day in... making finger puppets, dressing paper dolls, building castles and snuggling by the fire. Pippi Puppy even got in on the action !!

Saturday Fun

Dressing paper dolls.... endless fun !

Juliette thinks it's fun to wear my reading glasses. I think she looks like a secretary from the 60's !!

Maisie is teaching Juliette a song and dance while watching Maisy the Mouse.