Friday, October 24, 2014

August Rewind

I had to rewind a bit to August and a weekend with cousin Finn staying at Grandma Jeans house for the weekened.  Eli is such a good sport with his cousin. What other 12 year old will put on a blindfold and participate in his cousin's 5 year old birthday party game. Especially a 12 year old that is only a couple of inches away from being as tall as his 5 ft 9 mother. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

That About Says It...

Artwork is courtesy of Sidney....

  "Those of us who are Chinese adoptive parents cannot simply come home with our own incredible blessing and then forget all the children who still wait. China gave us the absolute honor to parent a child from that country, and I hope we will turn the love we feel for our own children into action: to help even more incredible kids find homes." Love Without Boundaries

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday Night

Saturday night, a movie on cable I’ve seen bits of a million times, and finally am sitting down to watch the whole thing. I’m thinking about Sidney before she went to bed and watching her carrying her  “caboodle,” everywhere. Think fishing tackle box that’s pink and purple with princesses on the lid. 
All ready for school. See you later mom!

All of her treasured items. She can be found taking it upstairs at bedtime and hauling it back down in the morning. Sometimes she sleeps with it next to her. The contents are always changing but at any given time typically include hair accessories, plastic necklaces, spare change inside a tin left over from mints, and plastic necklaces. A girl never knows what she’s going to need. Sometimes I wish I could lock my kids in childhood just a little longer.
Parade route ending on opposite side of town from the instrument case
means a free concert in your car.
In other news, I have to report that 1st Grade and 7th grade have started smoothly. This year more than others is a natural progression. 1st Grade means Sidney is on her second year of day long school, and Eli is in the same place. We were convinced public school was right for him until we starting putting more thought into the academic side. It’s frightening when you start mapping it out in 7th grade, planning how they will impact him by 12th grade. 

Noodle time.....
It’s also hard enough to have size 12 shoes when you’re 12 years old, that. Eli just got through telling me he’s fallen over backward in a chair in school three times already in the month they’ve been back in school. Crazy!

Sunday, August 31, 2014


A quick break from work waiting for my turn in the shower. Sunday morning, and Sidney is in front of me flying a Lego Hello Kitty plane. A typical day in the life from our home. Tom is on call, so I’m laboring on Labor Day weekend,   getting caught up on work and doing laundry. There’s a quietness to weekends like this that I love.

Eli came back from a three day camp with his 7th grade class. My our amusement he recounted his experience zip lining. After much climbing and much shaking, he stood on the top, sat on the small platform and pulled himself off.

My hands are sweating as I type. He’s more adventurous than his mother, but he somehow put his fear of heights to the side. I’m proud of him for trying.  He has more of the adventurous side like his dad, but I think Sidney will be our daredevil. She seems completely unphased and is never afraid. I’m proud of Eli for facing his fear. This is such an awkward, tough age. Nothing is straightforward in seventh grade when your feet are a size 12, and your mother asks if you’ve grown again overnight. I swear I see him getting bigger from night to morning.

I hear the water going off. 
My turn. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

No Limits

I should be working, but there are moments that grab me about my children. Whether its my son Eli explaining algebra homework, and me internally sending up a prayer of thanks that he doesn’t struggle with academics in the same way I did. Or seeing Sidney like this picture. I keep saying if I had only known how okay looks at the beginning. But I guess this is the good stuff that is the reward of parenting a child with any type of special need. It’s incredible to have a child that for every physical reason has very complex orthopedic needs but  none are an obstacle in her everyday life. They have nothing to do with having three fingers, four toes, and a missing fibula bone, and everything to do with what a person can overcome when they are without limits. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Skools In

Delivering supplies to school on Sunday.

I’ve collapsed in my chair. Eli and I are enjoying the silence that falls over the house after six year old chatter is quiet for the evening.  Since school started, we have bedtime routines back in place. Sidney is bouncing off the walls about being back while Eli continues to mutter, in defiance, saying something about the end of his freedom.  I have to admit I wasn’t really ready for having to be on a schedule again. I work from our house, so our summer was very relaxed. Mom up at the crack of dawn for a few hours of uninterrupted work, breakfast, short play, tutoring for reading in the morning, then lunch, and off to the public pool. Despite their age difference it’s something, a six and twelve year old enjoy equally. 

Who's to stop a queen from blowing bubbles outside? 
And if you’re picturing us driving up to a beautiful pool let me interrupt that thought. We live in Iowa. It’s the same pool I traveled to on swim team when I was a kid. I’m 39, (and hanging on tight until next month). The last time I was on swimteam I was 12.  It’s old, but we don’t care. It’s fun and is one environment that doesn't allow the kids to be parked inside the air conditioning in a sendetary zombie like state. It wares them down. Of course, there were always those moments when we saw an interesting patron, and Eli turned to me and quietly said, “It’s called public for a reason Mom.” 

So in between all of this, on July 13th, we celebrated five years home  with Tom’s parents by lazing around outside on a nice Sunday afternoon. The girl rolling around outside on Grandpa’s shop stool was barely recognizable in comparison to the person in front of me in Changsha. The isolation and neglect of the world  has been replaced by  spunk and a child who loves life. I have tried writing this post a million times mulling over that day and always come back to the theme of never forgetting what goes on even though it's not in our backyard. Our society lacks awareness, and if I could change anything it would be this. 

Tomorrow is coming sooner than I think. I promise to be a better blogger in the future, and especially for my most willing reader - my mother. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Please note two things, the fact that Eli was sent immediately to wash his feet an that I purchased a pair of size 12 shoes for him this week. Then note the queen in her fiefdom. 
I have a post ready I swear!!! I am the worst blogger ever. Work is making it challenging to post, so for now I am going to throw in a photo of my school supply shopper. Sidney was overjoyed that I let her come along and actually get the items out of the bins. I’m telling you it doesn’t take much to make a kid happy! So continue watching for me in blips and blurps and I promise to be back on more often! I have a longer post I’m working on about our five year anniversary of our forever family day. Stay tuned!!!