Even though Tahlia speaks pretty clearly, there are certain things that Tahlia says, that are just so cute. I often make her say these things, just so that I can hear her say them again and again and again ;-)
I know there are more, but just can't think of them right now. When Jazzie was learning to talk, I spent so much time correcting her and trying to get her to make the sounds, because she had just gotten her cochlear implant. With Tahlia, I just think it's cute and enjoy her little words while they last. Often however, it is Jazzie who is the one correcting Tahlia: "No Tahlia, say SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSchool bus...". :-)
Before I give an update on our weekend, I want to say that I have had one really nasty and ignorant comment on my previous post. I deleted it as soon as it came through. As is usually the case, this nasty commenter was anonymous, and he/she left a message about the wedding couple being bi-racial. All I want to say to this person is this: If you can't handle two races coming together, than what are you doing reading my blog??? I'm not sure if you have noticed, but my girls are from a different race, too! I am assuming you are okay with that, since you have never commented on that fact, and you said you were a "long time reader". Our family is a very multi-cultural and diverse family, and I like it that way! If you don't, then please stop reading my blog!!!
Like I mentioned before, the wedding was very nice. The day of the rehearsal, the couple thought for a while they would not be able to go on their honeymoon due to their passports not being ready. Somehow, the passports were delivered about 2 hours after the rehearsal was supposed to start and all was well again, but not after a small break down from the bride ;-) The wedding day had it's share of mishaps, including missing flowers and cake troubles, but in the end the flowers showed up and the cake looked beautiful and tasted great!
Some other pictures I have been wanting to post:
We love blue lollypops!!!
Some evening yoga:
Jazzie's shoes, which she is very proud of, because to her, they have high heels :-)
Cleaning the motorcycle. Tahlia is still very afraid and as you can see in these pictures, is nowhere close to be found!
I know several of you have e-mailed me with questions or have tagged me on your blog for something. I will get to it eventually. My life is so busy right now and I am trying to find a better balance between everything that comes along with the "daily grind". Also, if I am not commenting on your blog as much as I used to, it is not because I am not reading it, I just need more time for myself, my girls and my husband, instead of my bloglines ;-)
Well, the wedding came and went and it was beautiful (but not without a couple of near disasters). It was an exhausting weekend between driving 2 1/2 hours to the rehearsal on Saturday and driving 2 1/2 hours again on Sunday for the wedding, but everything went fine. My niece looked beautiful, the groom was handsome and it was a happy day....
I will update more later, but for now here are some pictures:
Okay, the fact that I feel fat and ugly has completely taken over my life. I am constantly sending negative messages to myself and I am tired of it! I want to feel better; I want to look better; I want to be better. I hate the fact that my negative thoughts about myself, affect the way I interact with Matt and the girls. Enough is enough....
Dear Matt, Jazzie and Tahlia,
I am sorry that I have not been taking better care of myself so that I can feel better about myself.
I am sorry that I have gotten so stuck in thinking negative things about myself, that I have have lost sight of the truly wonderful and positive things in my life, like the three of you.
I now chose to think more positively, enjoy life more and make a conceded effort to get out of this vicious cycle of self-doubt, self-consciousness and self-hate.
Thank you for loving me for who I am, even when I don't always love myself. You are three of the BEST things that have ever happened to me and I love you all so much!
Even though Tahlia can be extremely strong willed, stubborn, busy and mischievous, she is above all, very funny. She is such a ham and makes me laugh out loud with her antics...
Isn't she just too cute with her ladybug mug, her watch....
...her new Dora water shoes...
...and her new panties?
Taking a pretend picture of me:
What do you do when you are hot and tired?
Lay down on the nice cold granite countertop, of course!
"I'm not really sleeping!" :-)
Hamming it up for the camera:
I love those peek-a-boo buns!!!
Two years ago today, we received Tahlia's referral. The wait for Tahlia was so much easier than Jazzie's. While waiting for Jazzie, I moderated our DTC Yahoo Group, made a 100 good wishes quilt, spent hours and hours browsing Chinese adoption websites, etc. While we waited for Tahlia, I suppose I was so busy with Jazzie's appointments, that the wait just seemed to get away from me. We only waited a mere 9 months for Talley (I know, I am so sorry for those who are waiting SO much longer now). And since this wait was so different than the wait for Jazzie, I wasn't sure how I would react when I would get the call. With Jazzie, I was so emotional and I honestly didn't think I would be that emotional when I would get the second referral call. Well, I was wrong. When the words "you have a little baby girl" were spoken by our agency, I again broke down in a puddle of tears. It turned out that my emotions were exactly the same as with Jazzie.
However, what was not the same, was my reaction upon seeing Tahlia's referral pictures for the first time. I was not in love with them. I really wasn't. I wasn't sure how I felt about his baby. I kept staring at the pictures; I wanted to feel something, but I didn't. I remember not being able to sleep at night, because I wasn't even sure that was my baby. I wondered if the CCAA made a mistake. I had to keep reminding myself that Jazzie was a perfect match for us and to have faith that Tahlia would be perfect for our family as well. I had heard stories of people not falling in love with their referral picture. That was strange to me, because I had totally fallen in love with Jazzie's pictures and I was expecting the same thing to happen again. But it didn't.... However, when I first held her in my arms, I completely fell in love with her.
A couple more referral pictures:
I started the tradition of taking Jazzie's picture with her referral picture on the day of our referral anniversary, and of course I have continued it with Tahlia. Here she is today:
And last year:
It is hard for me to think that at one point, I didn't feel anything for Tahlia, even though it was merely a picture of her. Now, when I look at my funny, beautiful, keep-me-on-my toes, make-me-laugh and inquisitive Talley, I know she was meant to be ours and my life would not be complete without this little girl...
First of all, my obsession with ladybugs is not as diminished as I thought it was. I saw these cups the other day, and I couldn't leave them behind. I just had to have them ;-)
I think I mentioned before that I am taking the pictures at my niece's wedding. Well, the wedding is this weekend and I am starting to freak out. I enjoy taking pictures, but I am NO wedding photographer! I don't want to mess this up for them and I am really starting to get nervous. My friend Karen, who was in our travel group when we traveled for Tahlia and who is also a professional photographer, gave me some good pointers over the phone yesterday (thanks, Karen). Matt even went out and got me another lens and flash today. I wanted these items anyway, but now that the wedding is only 3 days away, I am feeling the pressure. Last night, I thought I would look for some more tips on the internet, so I Googled "wedding photography tips" or something like it, and the first page that popped up was a forum, where a person had asked for advice on taking pictures at a friend's wedding. This was his first time shooting a wedding and he was looking for some helpful hints. Well, instead of hints, this person got blasted for even considering taking the pictures, that he might ruin his friendship with the groom, that he should leave it to the professionals, etc. So much for boosting my confidence! I did go on to find some amazing websites and got some inspiration. Hopefully everything will go okay on Sunday....
Have I mentioned lately how fast my girls are growing up? Tahlia is in her big girl bed and is starting to potty train. We went to Target yesterday and she picked out some cute Hello Kitty, Dora and Ariel panties. She seems to do better when she is wearing panties versus pull ups, so we have jumped into this potty training full-fledged. Before picking up Jazzie from school yesterday, we had to stop at Target and Tahlia wore her panties the entire time. To be safe, I took her to the potty when we got to Target, when we left Target, when we got to school and when we left school. It makes things a little bit more complicated, but I want her to be potty trained before summer. Also, if I want her to go to any kind of preschool program in the fall, she needs to be potty trained as well.
And as for Jazzie....she has been closing the door while she goes to the bathroom and locking the door when she is in her room getting dressed. She NEVER used to do that. The first time she locked her door, I knocked and she said: "Just a minute, I am getting dressed!". I stood there a bit perplexed, because this is new behavior for her... I find it cute and funny that she is trying to be modest and exhibiting some "big girl behavior", but I am also sad that she is growing up, which she never fails to remind me off ("I'm almost 5, mom!").
And finally, did anybody else get the new One Step Ahead catalog in the mail yesterday? When I opened mine to page 9, there was a picture of a little girl in a bathing suit, that looks so much like Tahlia, that I had to do a double take! Here is a scan of the page, it is not very good quality, but you can get an idea. The top picture looks especially like her.....
We love playing on the playground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Come one, Talley!!! I see the swings!!!
Come one the bridge with us, mom!
Look mom, I can do it all by myself!
Stopping to examine a caterpillar...
Let's see if we can find more!
We wanted to go in that creek so badly!!!
Okay mom, if we can't go in it, we will just look cute standing by it while you take our picture!
We have had a full weekend and I have too many things to share and pictures to post :-)
First of all, Tahlia has been doing some home improvement in style:
There was an art show at Jazzie's school where the kids got to show off their artistic skills:
Simply, a masterpiece!
Friday was "Special Friends Day" at school. Mimi and Pappa and Cera and Dudas were Jazzie's guests. We all had lunch and then observed Jazzie in action in her class room. She showed off her reading skills and even had me surprised with how well she was doing!
And last, but not least: I never thought it would come down to this, but us girls have gotten ourselves some crocks :-)
This was the blog title of my friend Julia's blog post for today and I thought it was so fitting. Sorry, but her blog is password protected, so I can't link her blog. Julia and I are part of a very small Yahoo Group where we share stories of our lives and pictures of our children. We have all adopted children from China and we all share a love for photography. I have never met any of them, but feel a connection to them.
I have gotten close to many of you bloggers and feel like I know you, even though we have never met. I care about you and your lives and share in your joys, but also your sorrows. The same goes for the women in the small Yahoo Group. Today, I share the sorrow that I know of one of the women's family is feeling today. This beautiful and vibrant woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just 9 months ago. She fought a courageous fight, remained positive with her wonderful and supportive husband always by her side, but this morning, she passed away...
I cannot imagine the grief her husband, her two young girls and her step-son who is serving in Iraq, must be feeling today. I have felt kind of numb all day myself. Even though I never met this wonderful woman, wife and mother, I admire her for her strength, faith and love for her family. Her husband, who faithfully kept friends and family up-to-date through Carepages, just wrote something the other day, that is even more meaningful today:
"Live every day like it is your last and do the important things now.
Hug and kiss your Husband and wife, hug and kiss your children twice. These are the important things in life. Oh and always tell your friends you love them, and don't take them for granted."
One year ago today, I wrote my first blog post. When I started this blog, I had no idea how many friends I would meet and how therapeutic writing this blog would be for me. I am enjoying writing this blog and reading yours. Thank you for reading mine and for sharing yours with me!
It was a GORGEOUS day here, so the girls and I went off to the park while daddy and his brother continued to work on our basement. I have a lot of pictures to share, but right now I want to share some of the girls on the swings. At one point, I got on the swing as well, and the three of us were just smiling and giggling together. At that moment, looking off to the side and seeing my girls smile at me, seeing the blue sky above, and the green trees surrounding us, life was perfect and there was no place I would have rather been....
Yes, I am partial to ladybugs. It all started when we were DTC for Jazzie and I learned that ladybugs were a sign of good luck in the Chinese adoption community. I thought they were cute and very girly, so whenever I saw something with a ladybug on it, I had to have it ;-) I have a fair share of ladybug outfits for the girls and ladybug Christmas ornaments. Jazzie's first birthday cake was in the shape of a ladybug, both girls wore a ladybug costume for their first Halloween, a lot of the fabric squares in our 100 good wishes quilt have ladybugs on them; you get the idea. My obsession with ladybugs has subsided a bit over the past few years since Jazzie and Tahlia have been home, but I still love them I think ladybugs will forever be a reminder for me of how my girls came to be our daughters. I continue to have them around our house. As a matter of fact, the first thing you see when you come to our house is this:
In Tahlia's room:
I stenciled many of these ladybugs on the walls of Tahlia's room:
Did you notice Tahlia's new big girl bed??? She has been sleeping in it since Friday and she loves it! And no, there are no ladybugs in her quilt. I thought about it, but decided to go with something that is not "theme specific".
Saving money is just a lot more fun when you have these cute banks:
The girl's bathroom:
Every week, this is the towel Jazzie wants to take to swim class :-)
Even my kitchen is not safe from ladybugs:
I used to drink my coffee from this mug every day when we were waiting for Jazzie:
My attempt at being creative at the paint-it-yourself pottery place. Jazzie picked out this egg plate for me to paint and I immediately thought about painting the ladybugs on them. I guess my ladybug obsession is not as diminished as I thought it was:
OK, so I still have a LOT of ladybug stuff! I can't help myself...Ladybugs make me happy!!!!
Yesterday, Tahlia was in a time-out for pinching and hitting Jazzie. After her time-out was over, I tried to talk to her about her behavior and Tahlia just kept looking off to the side. She never looked at me, never said anything. When I asked her why she wasn't answering me, she said: "I do not have my implant on". So, I pretended to put an implant on her head and once again talked to her about her behavior. When I was finished she said: "My microphone is not on my ear". I didn't even know she knew the word "microphone"!!!!
Matt helped out with pizza lunch at Jazzie's school yesterday. I had not said anything to Jazzie about this, so that she would be surprised. Well, Matt told me that when she entered the lunch room, she looked at him, but went straight to her seat and ate her pizza without ever looking, smiling or talking to him. She pretended that he wasn't even there! When I asked her last night why she didn't talk to daddy when he was there, she said: "Mom, it was lunch time. You eat, you don't talk".
Yup, my girls are stinkers!
I am not sure if I have blogged about the fact that I am responsible for the biggest fund raiser for Jazzie's school in September. What was I thinking when I said yes when I was asked if I would take on this task????
Every year, the school has a golf outing, dinner and silent auction. I am responsible for the silent auction portion. That means I need to get donations in to be auctioned off. So far, we have gotten a lot of gift certificates to restaurants and hotels and free admissions to museums and sporting events. Our biggest items so far are 4 passes to Disney World and 2 round trick tickets to anywhere in the U.S. However, I am starting to feel the pressure that I need more stuff. I know that a lot of items come in at the last minute, but it seems like we had some great items last year (Tiffany jewelry, footballs that were signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and the Ohio State football team). I have been assured that we will get those items again this year, but until they are in my hands, I will not be at peace about it.
The thing that bothers me is that it is really hard to get other parents involved with this. It seems like it is always the same small number of parents who do everything. I am very involved at Jazzie's school (I like it that way), but it is frustrating that very few people are willing to step up and help. Not just with the fund raiser, but also with lunches, field trips, etc. A big part of the auction are class baskets that I am trying to put together. Every class has been assigned a theme (kids crafts, baking, book lovers, etc.) and I am asking each of the parents to bring in one item for their class basket. You have no idea how many times I have asked for items, sent notes home, etc. I have gotten some stuff (from the parents who always help), but I have not received anything from most of the parents. It makes me so mad, because I am spending so much time on this fund raiser and I feel like I am getting nothing back. I also feel that it is a privilege for these children to be able to attend a school like Jazzie's. A little help in raising money for this wonderful school would be appreciated!!!
It is kind of funny that they asked me to be in charge of this fund raiser, since it means that I have to make a lot of phone calls and approach businesses, asking for their donations. I am kind of shy and do not put myself out there very easily, so this has been an interesting experience for me. The hardest part has been trying to find people with connections. The thing is that a lot of people don't even realize they may know someone who is able to get a donation on behalf of the school.
We have three more weeks of school left, school will start again at the end of August and then it is only a few weeks after that, before the big event. Yes, I am freaking out.
When Jazzie was first placed in my arms, I cannot begin to explain the emotions that went through me. I broke down in a pool of tears, while holding my daughter for the first time. The fact that I was finally holding her, feeling her, smelling her, is something that will forever be a defining moment in my life. At that moment, I realized she was a gift; one that finally made me feel complete.
Here is a video clip of my first moments with Jazzie. Many of you have probably seen this moment on our travel video, but here is some more footage. I remember so clearly how they went over Jazzie's information before giving her to me (like her Chinese name, birth date, our names, etc.). Our guide was kind of stumbling through it and you can hear us in the back ground practically shouting all the information at him. I wanted to yell: "Just give me my baby, who cares about all this?!?!?!" You can also hear Matt mention the fact that he knew this was Jazzie by the kind of socks she was wearing. She was wearing the same socks in her referral pictures, so he was convinced that this was her. I still like to tease him about this ;-) We actually didn't know which baby was Jazzie and you can even hear me say "I think so", when I was asked if Jazzie was the right baby. Of course there is no doubt in my mind now that this is the same child as in her referral pictures, but at the time I wasn't sure. Not that it mattered...She was ours and I loved her. The instant I held her, I knew that I would do anything in the world for this child...
Jazzie only cried for a few minutes when we got back to our hotel room. After that, she was a happy little girl who never looked back. Here is a clip of Jazzie and myself the day after she was first placed in my arms:
Jazzie, four years after you were first placed in my arms as a pale, thin and quiet little girl, you are now a vibrant and funny little girl and you never cease to amaze daddy and I with your strength, wit, intelligence and eagerness to learn. I am so glad you are a part of our family. I cannot imagine life without you and I love you.
This weekend marks the 4 year anniversary of our Forever Family Day with Jazzie. We left for China on Mother's day (which was May 11) and Jazzie was placed in my arms on May 14. Every year since we have been home, we have celebrated the anniversary of our family with our friends, who are also celebrating their 4 year Family Day anniversary with their daughter, Kylie.
We started the celebration with a little swimming:
Then we had pizza, played outside and had cupcakes:
Of course, we had some cupcakes with candles for Tahlia and Kourtney as well:
Kylie and Jazzie, BFF :-)
We are so lucky to live just a couple of miles from each other. Matt and I first met Rich and Katie when we were all DTC for Jazzie and Kylie and Rich left a message on our DTC Yahoo Group and I realized we lived in the same city. We met for dinner, hit it off and we traveled to China within only days of each other. We used different agencies, but we were able to see each other at the White Swan for just a few minutes as they were leaving Guangzhou and we had just arrived. Katie and I have become the best of friends and we see each other often and have play dates with the girls. We have faithfully celebrated the girls' birthdays and Forever Family Days together.
Happy Family Day, Jazzie and Kylie. We love you girls.....
Our new bedroom furniture came yesterday and I LOVE it! The room looks completely different now; very warm with the paint color and the new furniture. It is not quite ready yet, since I still need to hang all the pictures on the wall, but you get the idea. I am also thinking about getting another bed spread, something more "spring/summer like". We'll see...
Did I mention that I love the room???
We finished painting our bedroom. We painted until 1 A.M. on Monday and then Matt finished the touch-ups last night. I was going to take a before picture of our bedroom, but then I realized that Matt had already taken most of our old furniture out, so I quickly took a picture of the room before, even though most of the furniture was already out:
And here is our room now that it is painted. The only thing in the room at the moment is our bed, which sits in the middle of the room. It's been interesting sleeping this way:
Now that the painting is done, we can move the bed back against the wall, put the blinds and curtains back and wait for our furniture, which is supposed to come tomorrow.
After I wrote my post about National Teacher's Day yesterday, I was once again reminded how wonderful teachers really are, including swim teachers! Yesterday was Jazzie's swim class and as we were waiting for the kids to be called into the pool area, Jazzie noticed that Tiana (her teacher), was not in the pool, but that she was sitting off to the side doing some paperwork. Jazzie was really worried about the fact that she might have a different teacher. She started to cry and told me that she did not want to stay. When the class started, I asked Tiana if she was going to be teaching in the pool and when she said "not today", Jazzie cried even harder. Then Tiana said that she would sit down next to Jazzie and that seemed to put her at ease. However, when class started and she realized she was going to have a male teacher, she really freaked out. I am not sure what it is about male teachers, but Jazzie will not have anything to do with even the idea. Then I saw Tiana get up, she said something to the teacher and he got out and she got in. Jazzie was elated, smiled from ear to ear and did great in class. After class, I told Tiana how much I appreciated her doing what she did. She obviously saw a need from one of her students and she made sure to make things right immediately. Tiana is obviously a great teacher and deserves a lot of credit; she is wonderful. I made sure the management knew about this as well ;-)
Today was Tahlia's gymnastics class, which she simply loves. Here is a little account of a typical class.
OK, I am ready. Let's get started!
First they make us go on the balance beam. This one is easy because it's wider; no problem for me...
Jumping off the equipment is the best!
Jumping on the trampoline is my absolute favorite:
From the trampoline, I jump right into the foam block pit:
Now I get to go on the big equipment. This stuff is higher, so I need to concentrate a little now:
But I can still smile for mommy and her camera:
I really like hanging up-side-down...
...and swing from the rings:
Walking on this balance beam is harder. It's the real thing, so I don't go as fast, but I can still do it:
Class is almost over, so time for bubbles. I like to catch them in my mouth:
Most of the kids like to go under the parachute, but I like to help the mommies and daddies make it go up and down:
And that is what I do at gym class!
I was getting ready to renew Tahlia's gymnastics class and I realized that next term, she will be in the 3 year old group, and I won't be able to stay with her anymore. She will be in a class all by herself :-(
I actually had to stop what I was doing, because the tears started flowing; my little girl is growing up and not so little anymore. Where did the time go? How did she turn from a baby into a big girl so quickly? And whenever I get nostalgic, I turn to pictures of the girls when they were little. Among the ones I looked at tonight were these, and some of them made me laugh out loud.
I didn't even know it was National Teacher's Day until I passed a sign by our local elementary school.
I remember my 5th grade teacher. He was simply wonderful. He drove a dark red Volkswagen Beetle. He was patient, loving, funny and kind, but we also knew not to mess with him. All the kids loved and respected him. Over 25 years later, I still think about him often and the effect he had on me.
Now that I have my own children and I am seeing first hand how hard Jazzie's teachers work and the impact they have on her, I have even more respect for all teachers.
First of all to all of you who sent me an e-mail saying you were interested in quilt squares. Right now the squares are M.I.A. I have absolutely no idea where they are. I had them on my desk and when I went to print out the wishes in the evening, they were gone. I bet you that a certain little someone has taken and hid them. So, I have not forgotten about your squares! As soon as I find them, they will be in the mail. It is driving me crazy, because I have looked everywhere and the certain little someone is not telling me where they are.
Here is that certain little someone enjoying one of her new favorite snacks: a rice cake with cream cheese:
This girl loves to eat!
She does not need to listen to me, because she is "almost 5 and big girls don't have to listen".
She will get married when she is 27.
She is smart.
She does not like this picture of her, because her "smile is not pretty".
She will put Cera in a time out for not coming to see her this weekend; Sorry Cera, but your sister has figured out how to put on a guilt trip.
I might not be doing a whole lot of blogging these next few days, since I will be busy painting our bedroom. On Sunday we went out and bought Tahlia a "big girl bed" (bye bye crib!) and decided to get new bedroom furniture for ourselves as well. Trust me, it was time. Everything will be delivered on Thursday, so until then, I will be painting our room during my free moments :-)
First of all, I want to send out a big CONGRATULATIONS to Colleen and Jim, on receiving their referral for the much anticipated Miss Hannah. Check out their blog. Hannah is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen...
This weekend was the annual "Flying Pig Marathon" and every year, there are people that run on behalf of the students at Jazzie's school. Runners gather sponsorships and raise a nice amount of money for the school. This year, we had two people running on behalf of Jazzie. One was Terry, my brother-in-law's twin brother and the other was Michelle, a fellow blogger. I have been in contact with Michelle, who was inspired by Jazzie's story, for a while now, but I had never met her until this past Saturday.
Saturday evening, we had a "Pasta Pig Out" dinner at school for all the students, their families and their runners. I finally got to meet Michelle! Michelle is an incredibly kind, warm and generous person. I felt like I had known her my whole life. We ate our spaghetti dinner and chatted away, getting to know each other a little bit better. Michelle is a single woman, who had hoped to adopt from China, but did not get a single's slot when China imposed it's new rules. I truly hope Michelle will be led to find her daughter and I also truly hope to see her again. Here is Jazzie with Terry and Michelle:
THANK YOU, Michelle and Terry for coming to the dinner and for running on behalf of our daughter. You guys are AWESOME!
See the pig mascot? Jazzie and Talley and all the other kids thought he was a LOT of fun:
Well, of course he was fun! It turned out that it was really daddy!!!!
I did not get a picture of the girls' faces when they realized that Matt was in the costume, but just take my word for it that it was priceless!
Since Matt and his brother were working on the basement today, I took the girls for a fun Girls Only Day. The morning started out so sweet, when both girls crawled into bed with us and I had one girl on either side, snuggling up to me. It wasn't until a few minutes later that I realized that they were holding hands. It was so, so sweet....Moments like this makes a mother's heart melt:
After we got dressed, the girls and I went to our usual Saturday morning hangout: the coffee shop. After mom got her coffee, we went to one of those paint your own pottery places. I have taken Jazzie there before, but this was Tahlia's first time and she loved it. All three of us painted a plate. I think the girls' favorite part was when I actually let them paint their hands, so that I could put their hand prints on the plate that I was painting. I am not sure if I am going to keep it for myself or give it to my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. I will decide next week when I pick it up; after I see how it turned out ;-) We had a great time!
After we were done painting, I took my girls out for lunch. We ended our special Girls Only Day with some time at the indoor playground, since it looked like it was going to storm.
...for all your support after my last post. WOW! I never thought I would get so many comments and e-mails of support. Thank you everyone. Even though I knew I wasn't the only one who struggles with finding a balance with everything that comes along with being a stay at home mom, it is nice to hear it from others. Thanks everyone for your comments and e-mails. I really appreciate it so much!
So far, today has been a lot better than yesterday and the day before. This morning, Jazzie got dressed without too much trouble and even though there were a couple of little tifs before we left for school, she spent most of the time before school just snuggling with her blankie:
After dropping Jazzie of at school, I finally got some much needed housework done. I vaccumed, went through paperwork and cleaned up the playroom.
These two laundry baskets had been sitting just like this, untouched in the laundry room for the past 6 days:
I feel better now that they look like this:
Tahlia was SO good while I was doing some chores. She played with her baby dolls, pretended to go shopping and played in her little kitchen. After I got done folding clothes, it was time for a healthy snack for Talley:
Last, but not least, I find it ironic and funny that after complaining about not getting any housework done, one of my friends e-mailed me the following poem this morning:
A Cleaning Poem
I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been blogging,
And I had to answer 'yes.'
He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.
I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work...
I didn't mean to 'click.'
But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing blog site
That I got SO way into.
I was into it all night.<<Sigh>>
Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.
So, last night I sat down to go through my bloglines and it seemed like I read blog after blog where the authors mentioned how wonderful their lives are and how blessed they feel to be a mom. Everybody is happy, everyone is smiling, there is heart expanding love, laughter, life is wonderful, glorious, there is bonding and togetherness. There are no worries, no bad moments and life is perfect all the time.
I was reading it all and thinking: B.S.!!!
Life as a mom is not like that. I am not saying that I never experience all of the things mentioned above, as a matter of fact, I often do. However, portraying motherhood in that light is simply unrealistic. Maybe my irritation with reading accounts of perfect and wonderful motherhood was fueled by PMS or the fact that I just had a day that was anything but wonderful and glorious.
It seems like lately, Jazzie and Tahlia start bickering the moment we walk through the door after we pick Jazzie up from school. I must admit that Jazzie is usually the instigator. She knows exactly what to say or do to upset Tahlia. Most of the time it is over something really stupid. Jazzie will tell Tahlia that she is a "baha". I don't know what a "baha" is, I'm sure it is just a word that Jazzie made up, but it gets to Tahlia every.single.time that Jazzie calls her a "baha". Tahlia will come running to me crying that she is not a "baha" and Jazzie will sit at the table saying: "Yes, she is", which will set Tahlia off again. Every day the girls do a craft at the kitchen table, which is fine, but I am so tired of cleaning up a million pieces of paper that are on the floor, markers that are scattered under the table, stickers that are put on anything besides paper. It is such a chore to get the girls to help me clean up, that it is almost easier to go ahead and do it myself, just to get it done, but there are feelings of resentment that come along with that. Jazzie knows that the rule in this house is: You ONLY paint, draw and stamp on paper, NOT on anything else (mostly meaning herself). I have told her this over and over and over again. But yesterday, when I thought she was stamping on some paper, she had in fact put stamps all over her body. Of course that meant she had to have a bath again that she didn't really need and even though the ink is supposed to be washable, it is hard to get it of skin.
Jazzie has also been very defiant lately and will flat out refuse to listen and do what she is being told. A perfect example is putting on her shoes. She will usually sit with her shoes in her hands and whine for me to come and put them on. On the one had I feel that she is plenty old enough to put her shoes on and be independent, but on the other hand I feel that the girls are only little for so long and pretty soon, they will not need me for much anymore. However, there are times that I just need for Jazzie to put her own shoes on and I just don't want to deal with the whining. Jazzie is very head strong and will not give in, until it escalates to the point where I cannot be patient and reasonable anymore. Don't you just love power struggles?
Tahlia is still afraid of the motorcycle. Every time we go in the garage, she cries. She wants to be carried and refuses to climb out of the car. We were outside after dinner last night and she did nothing but whine and cry: "I want mommyyyyyyyyyyy", even though I was right there. She will not play or ride her bike, just whine. Very frustrating, especially when you are trying to get some things done. Where at first I felt sorry for Tahlia that she was so afraid, I am now losing my patience with it; it is getting annoying and I just want her to get over it.
Somebody please tell me how it is possible to work hard for several hours cleaning and organizing the house, only to have it messed up again within 20 minutes??? How come the laundry piles never seem to end? How come I spend half an hour mopping the floor downstairs, only to see dusty foot prints and muddy paw prints right afterwards? Why do children ask for something to eat, you spend time fixing it, only to find out they don't want it after all???
Bedtime should be a nice and relaxing end to the day. However, often it is not that way at our house. The girls constantly argue over who's turn it is to put which girl to bed and after they are finally in bed, Tahlia and Jazzie will often call us back up at least 3 more times for something. After doing things with and for the girls ALL day long, it is infuriating to not be given any peace in the evening. Last night I was tired and so glad my bad day was over. I had literally just stepped off the steps when Jazzie started calling me again. I went stomping up the stairs, fed up and told Jazzie that I had enough and I did not want to hear her again. I was very upset and Jazzie knew it. That is when she started to cry and of course that was when my guilt came in and I was crying as myself. Then when I started reading some blogs and these authors were going on and on about how wonderful life is, I was wondering: Am I the only one who is not happy all the time? Am I really the only one that struggles?
Even though I know that a lot of my emotions last night had to do with the fact that I was tired and were fueled by PMS, I also know that I just have not been happy within myself. I do not feel good in my own skin. It all has to do with wanting to be healthier, exercise more and lose weight. I am not happy with how I look and how I feel. That thought is with me 24/7 and affects the way I deal with everyone in my life. I am tired of it being such a paralyzing part of me.
Something has to give.
Colleen, the wait is finally over for you. You are a mom!!! We are so happy for you and Jim and we cannot wait to see Hannah's little face. I think it is only fitting that you would first learn about your daughter on your way to The Happiest Place on Earth!!!
Here is a little message from Talley:
Congratulations from all of us!
Did you notice how she called you "Queen"? Queen Colleen...