Friday, February 29, 2008

Lindsay's Earring Adventure

It was successful and Lindsay looks great (except for that big gap in her mouth!) She wants everyone to know that she didn't cry -- I'm thinking she would have liked to.

Lindsay's two neighborhood girlfriends traveled with us on our adventure. For some reason I felt very confident in our tough looking, chain smoking Claire's employee. I actually chose the Claire's to visit by calling them all to see which employee answering the phone didn't sound like a flake. Some girls sound so apathetic, which made me nervous since they are putting permanent holes in my child. This store had a strong character running the show and I knew I chose the right gal when I liked where she chose to put the holes (some try to pierce them pretty low.) She asked if she could smoke a cigarette while we were waiting for Jason arrive -- I told her she could do anything she needed to do in order to have steady hands.

I'm especially glad Jason took the time to come as well since the video is really precious of her looking in the mirror for the first time to see her newly bejeweled ears. We also caught Dylan saying, "Lindsay, I LOVE your pierced ears!" I got to hold her hand and I'm not sure if she or I needed it more.

It turned into a bit of a party as I bought all the girls little treats at Claire's and then we went to a pet store nearby to hold some puppies. It is a good idea to make plans for an additional outing since those ears really do hurt for awhile. Just a little something to get their minds off the dull throbbing.

Whew! I survived another day of motherhood and at least one of my children is smiling!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Well, the neighborhood boys (including Jonathan) did it. They got the license plate number of the strange guy in the car. This time when I called the police they sent me straight to a dispatcher and a policeman called me right back.

He looked up the address and went to visit the guy (who lives right down the street like we suspected.) I'm guessing his heart is still in overdrive after that visit.

The officer later told me he had a disability -- it didn't occur to me to ask what kind so I had to make some more calls. He reported that the guy said he loved kids, went to church, etc. By doing some more sleuthing, I discovered that he is currently living with his parents (for whatever reason) and has had brain surgery possibly due to cancer in the past.

I still don't get why he would drive off when the mother showed up at the bus stop AND he told the officer he didn't stop at the bus stop and talk to the kids. They swear it is the same guy though. Hey, he has had cancer and brain surgery so who knows what is going on in his noggin.

Whew! I'm so glad to have that mystery solved. Maybe I should try and get hired on with that local private eye agency!

House of Pain

My mothering duties have been kicked into high gear this week -- Dylan had to get 5 shots on Tuesday, Jonathan got ear tubes and a frenulumectomy (which Dylan just painfully had a week ago!) and Lindsay lost her second front tooth so she is getting earrings. Lyvia has avoided the stabs and slices so far, but I'm keeping a close eye on her!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anthony Bourdain -- No Reservations

I get such a kick out of his show. I definitely agree with his (I think his) line, "Be a traveler, not a tourist."

While he is very irreverent, he is a surprisingly gracious guest most everywhere he goes. He never really sneers at local fare, but does see the humor in some of what he is offered.

Some shows aren't as memorable, but because he often visits places off the the beaten path, I learn something from most all of them even the Los Angeles and South Florida episodes.

Favorite snarky shows (to be updated as I watch all the ones I have recorded)
New Orleans
Hong Kong -- if only to watch the noodle maker

He seems to really love his Asian trips or Asian food so they are all pretty good. I think it makes him a bit more reverent and not so snarky, but I like snarky! While I didn't get many laughs from watching the Singapore espisode. It did make me miss our overseas opportunity all the more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mad Mom -- Let's Get 'Em!

Earlier this week some creep drove up to our kids at the bus stop (five of them were there) and said, "Going to school? Wouldn't you rather play video games at home in bed?" Of course he was disarmingly nice so the kids fell hook, line and sinker for it. So much for all the Stranger Danger events we've taken them to.

There is always a parent at the bus stop, but there was a slight "mislap" and that is exactly when he showed up. That is all he got out and then a parent came out thinking he was a neighbor the kids knew and he drove off. He had to drive onto the wrong side of the road to stop and talk to these kids.

THEN, two days later he appeared again in the evening and swerved into the wrong side of the road again to honk and wave at one of the kids. Jonathan thought he got the license plate number, which was pretty exciting.

I'm not entrusting anything 100% to the police department so I hired a private detective to run the plate numbers. We tried all sorts of combos based on what Jon said, but nothing came up -- RATS!

I've got a plan B I'll work on next week -- I REALLY want to catch this guy! Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Down One to Go

When raising a girl, inevitably the majority of them will ask for earrings and YOU have to figure out when in the world to let them pierce those permanent holes.
It didn't sound like a bad idea to earn them like some people told me they do. One person dangled them out like a carrot to get her daughter to be more responsible for herself and that sounded noble. I'm awful at keeping track of behavior charts though.
Eventually I leaned toward basing it on an age. Only problem...I couldn't seem to pick one. All the while Lindsay repeated asked, "Can I get them? Can I? Can I? Can I? When, when, when?!?!?!?" One neighbor picked age 13 and said it was supposed to be a right of passage. Okay, that sounded pretty cool, too, but I didn't want to wait until age 13. Other people I know used Kindergarten or just the next birthday, but the former seemed too easy and the latter would be more palpable to me if they were older. Why? I'm not that in tune with myself to know.
I FINALLY decided last year that it would make the anticipation of losing teeth more fun (for me a least) if Lindsay got to get her ears pierced after her top two teeth fell out. Lindsay was very agreeable to this and turns out we have had a lot of fun wiggling those teeth and celebrating the first one's liberation.
Part of me wishes she wouldn't get her ears pierced so young, but here in Texas I'm also used to the Hispanic tradition of piercing newborn girl's ears. Also, if you are a girly girl, pierced ears can be a lot of fun!

Thank Goodness!

"The problem is time. There just isn’t enough time. Men won’t spend a whole day away from their family anymore."WALTER HURNEY, a real estate developer, on the decline of golf.

Well, thank goodness. It didn't hit my rader, but come to think of it, I actually know very few people who play golf anymore. The one husband I know has a wife who is so understanding, he must be paying her off in order to be absent for the day.

Phew -- one less sport for my kids to try -- the desire to introduce them to as many sports as they would like is strong. Now I'll just say, "Good guys don't play golf."

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Want to Know

Sometimes, while thinking about a little town in Jiangxi, I feel like my mind's eye could almost cross oceans and time to see what happened when Lyvia was born, where she came from and who she belonged to. I've been researching weather, sun and moon records for the day she was born. I stare at Google Earth and have the longitude and latitude of her town memorized. There I can see what we think is her town with a river that runs through it and mountains or hills I didn't really notice when we visited. Whoever recorded the satellite images used for Google Earth obviously didn't understand how much I wish I could fly through the streets and countryside there. As I try to swoop down with my zoom button and get closer to her roots, it sadly just becomes one big grey blob.

When I focus on this data and images, I can almost create a picture of her first day. While I know the image starts and ends in my mind, my heart still desperately wants to be taken to her beginnings. I've heard stories of orphanage directors who know more than they tell, villagers who bicycled all night to drop off a baby they couldn't keep, migrant workers who spend most of their time in cities far away from home. So more and more questions arise -- does the director know more than he has told us, how far did she travel from her birthplace to the orphanage and was her father even nearby or was he off in a big town trying to support his family. If I'm working through so many scenarios for her, I can only imagine how heavy her heart and mind will be as she dwells on the vast unknown.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone celebrating! This one is bittersweet since we are so fortunate to have friends here to celebrate with, but we were supposed to be in Singapore celebrating!!!

Okay -- the new year is supposed to be about happy times so I'll let that go at the moment (it is also a time for letting bygones be bygones so I need to change my feelings towards a few execs at Jason's workplace!)

Here's to a new year filled with new possibilities!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lyvia turned 2! (back in January)

Click on photo for more pictures
By the way -- Lyvia's look of concern is because she just ain't sure she is ever going
to get one of those cupcakes she had her eye on.

I have a feeling life is about to really speed up -- that was my last one year old (did you hear the sigh of relief from Jason?) and I have been told that once you stop having babies, it seems your kids start growing at mach speed.

Lyvia had the kind of low key birthday party I may become famous for now. Whoops -- just blew that out of the water with Dylan's big bash and Jon and Linz are talking about their upcoming celebrations, too. The funny thing is even the lowest key party (dinner with the family, cake and a few presents) is surprisingly stressful. Such is. We were in Colorado on her birthday so we ate at our favorite pizza place, enjoyed our consolation cupcakes (seems they were out of Dora) and went ice skating. It was also cool having my dad, his friend and my aunt there to celebrate with us. My aunt lives in Dillon, very near Breck so she make it to all the parties. Jonathan and Lindsay's birthdays were during Spring Break last year so we had another "low-key" event during our vacation that she could attend.

While the ice skating was for the older kids, Lyvi was not about to be left out of any event that included new shoes.

Look at that girl go! We certainly enjoy her adventurous spirit.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Dylan!

Click on image to easily see photos
Jonthan thought it was too cool that Dylan's birthday was the same day as the Superbowl. Mr. Johnny and Sharon came to help make it quite the celebration -- they are a husband wife duo that sound eerily like Will Ferrill and Ana Gasteyer when they are the unitarian husband/wife singers. They are great though and the kids eat their gig up.
Dylan was under-the-weather, but he soldiered through his party. The kids had a ball inside and out -- thank goodness for nice Texas weather when you are having a birthday party at home...
As for those Giants -- boy, they certainly made me look bad when I told Jonathan they had no chance of winning as the wild card team against the Patriots. Really -- it isn't too early for him to learn that I don't have a clue about sports...