Girl Power

Multi-tasking and Motherhood

One thing I've learned this week is that I am a multi-tasker and a procrastinator.  The two shouldn't go together, but in my case they do... therefore, I am writing about the last week in just this one post.

Here goes... over the last week I have taped and painted four rooms in our house, helped my brother demolish our kitchen, live without a stove or water in the kitchen sink, made coffee on the dining room floor, microwaved all of our meals on the dining room floor, pitched forts in the living room, had a campfire and s'mores in the backyard, run the roads taking Juliette back and forth to various therapies, done nightly homework with Maisie, danced in the living room with the family, did a gazillion loads of laundry, hunted for the missing socks, put countless pairs of little people shoes away, bleached my teeth, looked for summer camps for the kids..... and I still managed to get myself all dolled up in a Tutu  and rock out with my friends in the front row at the Black Eyed Peas concert !!  Where do I find the time ??????

Hope your week is sane !!

Pretend Play


It may be in the 30's outside but that doesn't stop my girls from having a blast at their pretend beach in our front room.  Every pillow, blanket, and beach buddy was used to make this seaside resort.  I really love the fact that Maisie and Juliette can now really have fun together.  One day it's the beach... the next it's the grocery store and beauty parlor.  Their imaginations are really at work and it's so cool to hear them in their make believe worlds.  Over the last couple of weeks we've noticed that Juliette's speech is jumping by leaps and bounds.  She's able to have real conversations, albeit simple ones but it is so rewarding to hear her talk and sing.  She's a happy child who loves to hear herself talk.  In addition to her ever expanding vocabulary Juliette surprised me today by showing me that she could button her own shirt.  That is a fantastic achievement for our little girl whose fine motor skills are challenged.  She was SO proud of herself and told me "I do it myself Mom !"  Yes she did !!!!

Year of the Tiger

Happy Year of the Tiger !! It is the year of me !!  And I am definitely a tiger through and through !

Courage, Vehemence, Self-Reliance, Friendliness, Hopefulness, Resilience, Vanity. 

We celebrated the day by attending the annual CNY party put on by the Chinese Association of Chas.  It's always a great party filled with entertainment and food.  Kevin and I have been attending the celebration a year before Maisie came home, so it's wonderful to see familiar faces every year... and to be embraced by the Chinese community.  
It's so very important for us to have the girls embrace their heritage and culture and be surrounded by tradition. 
Maisie has expressed interest in attending Chinese lessons, so we signed her up and she begins next weekend.  She and I took lessons before Jules came home and had a great time.  I'm excited that she'll have the opportunity again !!

SNOW in the South !!


What a thrill for the girls to see it snow.  On New Year's we had to drive to the mountains of North Carolina to see snow.  Last night, we opened our front door and were able to catch snowflakes on our tongues.  Though it was only a light dusting, it is a rarity for us so we took full advantage.  We were up and out this morning in our PJ's crunching our way through the yard.  We tried to make a snowman but it wasn't good packing snow... so the only thing we could do is get in a snowball fight with some kids in the neighborhood.  Lots of fun but I fear all the snow will be gone by this afternoon.  So glad we got to experience the winter wonderland !!
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Busy Week


This week has been a busy one.  The cold has kept us indoors but that hasn't stopped us from finding ways to entertain ourselves.  I introduced Maisie and Juliette to the fine art of sack races and the sport is quickly becoming a favorite in our house.  But nothing compares to dressing up and dancing all around.  We just turn the music up to 11 and rock out !!  

Our Mondays and Thursdays are Juliette's therapy days.. occupational, physical and speech.
It's amazing to watch her progress.  When we first started at Coastal Therapy she was terrified of everyone and everything.  All the sensory games were just too much for her... but now she asks when we can go.  She LOVES to play and learn !!  We see progress every day.
On Thursday I spotted signs of spring (my favorite season)... beautiful flowers starting to bloom... and even a flock of robins stopped by our house to rest and take drinks out of our fish pond.  Surely spring is right around the corner... no matter what Punxsutawney Phil says.... right ??

Montessori Celebration


On Monday, Juliette celebrated her birthday with her classmates.  It's a very special time when the birthday girl walks around the circle of the sun four times, stopping at each rotation so that her teacher is able to show pictures of Juliette and tell stories about her 4 years of life.  The ceremony concludes with the children asking Juliette a variety of hard-hitting questions like "What's your favorite colored toothbrush?"  "Who is your favorite friend?" and "What is your favorite toy?"
After the sun ceremony... snacks are passed out and everyone is happy.  Especially the birthday girl who feels so very special and loved.

Happy Birthday Sweet Juliette


On this day four years ago, a tiny 4.96 pound baby girl was born in the Guangdong Province of China.  I do not know the circumstances surrounding her birth.  I wish I did.  However, on this day, I find myself grateful that fate waited for us to find each other.   I am blessed to be Juliette's mom.  I can only imagine her earliest days, I grieve that I missed nurturing her.  But she's in my life now and every day she helps me to be a better person.  Her Chinese name is Qiu Hui which means Autumn Kindness.  It's a perfect name for this sweet little soul.  My little girl has already proved that she has an inner strength to survive and a kind soul to love deeply.  She's our treasure.  
Happy Happy Birthday Juliette !!!  We all love you so very much.

To celebrate, we made birthday crowns today,  baked a cake and frosted it with pink icing at Juliette's request.  All day long she's been singing herself "Happy Birthday" so when it came time to actually light the candles and sing...she was in heaven !!  So happy to have her very own cake, presents and all the attention.  Her joy lasted well beyond bedtime. Kevin went in to check on her a couple of minutes ago and was met with Juliette looking at him and signing "more" in sign language... he asked more what... she signed again and had only one word to say..... "CAKE !"  What could dad do but grant the birthday girl her wish.

An Interview with an Almost 4 Year Old

Today is the eve of Juliette's 4th birthday.. on this day we are baking a pink cake.  It's also a day to discover a few things about our little girl.

1.  Favorite Color: Orange

2.  What do you like to eat for breakfast:  Cold Cereal

3.  How old are you going to be tomorrow ?   Fourl

4.  What do you ride to school in ?  Dad's Carl

5.  What's your favorite thing to watch on TV ?  Elmo

6.  Who is your best friend ?  Blankies and Bed

7.  What do you want to be when you grow up ?  Lilly

8.  What is your favorite food ?  Hot Dog (really?)

9.  Where were you born ?  Thina

10.  What are you going to do on your birthday ?  hahahahahahaha hot dogs, candles hahahahahaha

Friday Favorites

Rainy Day Makeover


I remember raiding my mom's closet when I was little... trying on all the high heels and dresses I could find.  I loved the sound of the click clack on the floor.  I loved how tall I felt... so grown up.
I remember that my mom and I had matching dresses which I thought was fun.  My girls love to be "matchy matchy" and I'm embracing that style statement for as long as it lasts.

In the afternoons, I can often find the girls in my closet getting out my shoes, boots, dresses, scarves... you name it, if they can reach it, they're wearing it.  I couldn't resist taking some pix of them in all of their finery.  They even had a beauty parlor going on... however Juliette didn't think much of Maisie's styling ability.  Not a happy camper... but the end result was nonetheless... beautiful!!

Friends Come in All Shapes, Sizes & Colors

Last night my sweet 6 year old called me into her room at bedtime to talk to me about something she had been pondering.  "Mom, some of the kids at school don't think you can be friends with your pillow or blanket, are they right ?"  Taking this question very seriously, I answered that friends come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  And the most important thing about true friends is that they will always comfort you in your time of need.  Now that time might be when you are scared, sad, or just settling down in a nice comfortable bed.  In Maisie's case, her blanket (made exclusively for her by the wonderful textile artist Paige Hathaway Thorn) has been a source of comfort since day 1.  Here she is sleeping on our first night at a family with blanket.  That picture was taken June 28, 2004.  Blanket was bright fuschia and orange, decorated with beautiful gold butterflies.  Today, blanket is but a shell of herself.  Faded and worn away by her owner's loving hands.  Maisie doesn't notice that blanket is looking a little long in the tooth these days.  She doesn't notice that she's tattered and torn beyond any normal repair.  All she sees is a friend who comforts her through the night.  A friend that will wrap itself around any worries or loneliness... a friend who will greet her every morning, until one day she won't be needed any more (yes Blanket is a girl)... but she will understand.  Because that's what true friends do.