Thursday, January 31, 2008


I don't remember exactly how the conversation started, but I heard my daughter say "but nobody can buyed me anymore 'cause I'm yours". WHAT!!!????!!!!! After asking her to clarify, she repeated the same thing. She thinks we bought her? So after being utterly flabbergasted, I finally say "honey, we didn't buy you". I continue to tell her that we buy groceries and shoes, but not people. We did have fees to pay to the Chinese government and to the U.S. government and we gave money to her orphanage to pay for her diapers and her milk while her nannies were caring for her I explain in earnest. Buttons then pipes in with "and my nuks too" which shows me she's understanding this a bit more, but I'm still having trouble grasping this. I tell her that anytime someone is brought into a family by either an adoption, birth or marriage, there are fees. We're having the fees discussion at 3?

Before, during and after Buttons' adoption we read books about attachment, racism, and the plain ol' dumb questions people ask with International Adoption. We started talking early with Buttons about her adoption in age appropriate language. She takes pride in the fact that she was born in China and has a very basic understanding about her nanny (an ayi in Chinese) and her birth mother and father. After learning that many children who are adopted think they weren't born like other children but adopted instead, we talk about her birth as being a separate occasion from our family day.

Now, about the fees. People have asked me about the money for an adoption. I explain that there are fees involved, but I don't discuss the amount and I try to deflect after that. If someone has an honest interest, I'd much rather give them names of some adoption agencies or get them started on the internet rather than give them a monetary amount. I'd rather talk about the experience of adoption and how wonderful it's been for us and so many others. I'm careful. So where did she learn this? Did someone say something? Did she hear things and put together her own interpretation? She's so aware that it surprises me sometimes.

I had prepared myself for some of the difficult questions, but I didn't know I'd be answering them for my three year old. And so it begins...

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adventures in White Porcelein

Last night during rehearsal someone asked me "what's new" and my reply was a joyful "Buttons is wearing underwear!" It truly is a big moment although I felt the need to explain a bit as to why this ranks up there with a birthday or anything wonderful. It's an awesome milestone.

We've been buying pull-ups for a long time. I shudder to think how many we've purchased. First there were the generic butterfly ones, then came the princess ones (shudder), then came Spiderman (better), now we have Dora. We purchased books and videos, did crazy marketing schemes and even made it a social event. Santa brought underwear, she picked out underwear, we talked about underwear. Well, Buttons has been wearing underwear since Friday with only one incident, which did require the purchase of a new car seat*. Know what finally worked? We finally stopped using the pull-ups and actually put the underwear on her. You know what's even sillier? A friend nicely pointed this out as an option. Hmm, putting the undies on the daughter. Who woulda thunk it?

*At the end of a long day, we needed to go home, Buttons refused to go to the potty and 5 minutes later had an accident in her car seat. Once home, we removed the seat cover to find that two parts of the styrofoam on her car seat had broken. So, we bought this and this.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rest in Peace, Heath

No, I did not know Heath Ledger, but I felt a connection to him and I'm stunned by the news of his death. There is much speculation over the hows and whys, but I'm just saddened by this loss. My sympathies go to his family, friends and especially his 2 year-old daughter.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Polar Bear Plunge

It was around 33 degrees here today. There was a little snow on the ground and floating chunks of ice on the creek. We took along a thermos of hot herbal tea and our camera to watch people much braver (crazier) than us jump in to the water.

If you are ever invited to a polar bear party, go...

as a spectator.

Buttons couldn't understand why people were swimming outside. However, when asked if she would like to jump in she told us she couldn't because she didn't have her swimsuit. Whew, glad we didn't bring it along.

Hubby was talking with one of the "polar bears" and he confided this year was much warmer. Apparently after his dip last year he couldn't remember what state he lived in and wasn't able to even form words when he came back to land.

What fun to be a spectator.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Underground Railroad Songs for Children

You know Raffi, right? Children's music guru of such hits as Baby Beluga, Tingalayo, Five Little Ducks and Apples & Bananas. Buttons LOVES him and thinks he's just the funniest, most talented singer ever.

Well, Raffi has some unusual song choices on his cds. You haven't heard anything until you hear these words being sung by a three-year-old:

"I see a ban of angels comin' affer me, comin' for ta carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot, comin' for ta carry me home."

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

My 85 Year Old Daughter

Yes, this is a post about Christmas. Yes, January is half over. Yes, our Christmas tree is still standing proud in our living room. (Ok, maybe not proud, but definitely standing.)

The Setting:
It's Christmas morning and my mom, her partner J., my brother G., Hubby and I are all anxious to watch the joy on Buttons' face as Santa's goodies are revealed to her.

The Back Stories:
We decided to let Buttons help with our kitty's stocking this year because we know how busy Santa can be. So, she helped pick out all the goodies.
Santa doesn't wrap our gifts, so all of the goodies are seen at one time. (Some friends call this laziness, but this is how Santa played it in my day as well.)
There had also been discussion about J. having some back issues after the long drive to our house and her need to sit in a straight back chair.

The Scene:
Buttons comes down the stairs and immediately focuses on the cat stocking. She proceeds to find the hairball remedy and call our cat's name for a good long time. This is the treat she's sure her feline buddy will have been waiting for all season.
(The above picture shows her holding the yummy treat.)
We let her know that the kitty may be tired and we'll look for her later.

Then we ask her about the Santa loot. She stands in front of it, looks around at it and declares "there are too many toys." Mind you, I tried to remind Santa to keep it down this year and thought he did a good job. Hmm, the three-year-old thinks there's too much, so we'll have to pare down even more next year.

She then backs away from the toys, holds her side and declares that her back is hurting and she needs to sit down.

Looking back I imagined that Buttons was an 85 year-old woman complaining about the cat hairballs, having too many toys, and her sciatica acting up again. This was not the Norman Rockwell Christmas morning I imagined. It was much funnier than that.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wordless Wedneday


Friday, January 04, 2008

Still Stunned

First of all, thank you for all the sweet comments. It was nice to come back from a long trip and read your responses to my last post about the passing of my grandma.

I'm always a little shell shocked right after Christmas. There's the shopping and the baking and then we're either cleaning the house for company or packing up the car for Michigan. This year we wound up doing both after finding out my grandma was very sick. I'm a bit exhausted. I would like to blog more about my grandma, but I'm still in a bit of shock about it and she didn't want a memorial service of any kind, so the closure is not there yet either. A friend suggested doing a memorial service on paper just for me and I may try that.

Buttons was a trooper for our long (13 hour!) drive and I'm amazed at her patience and ability to occupy herself. When we vacationed in Vermont last summer, she would tell us her favorite part of the trip was being in the car. She loves to point out the sights, sing songs and sleep at will. She recently told me she'd like to be a truck driver.

Well, I wanted to post a little something, so here it is. I'm hoping to do a knitting post soon along with a Buttons / Christmas post. Right now, I'm going to go relax. Before that, I'll wish you all a happy and healthy 2008.

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